FOIA Guide, 2004 Edition: Exemption 6

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Freedom of Information Act Guide, May 2004


Exemption 6

Personal privacy interests are protected by two provisions of the FOIA,
Exemptions 6 and 7(C). While the application of Exemption 7(C), discussed below, is
limited to information compiled for law enforcement purposes, Exemption 6 permits
the government to withhold all information about individuals in "personnel and
medical files and similar files" when the disclosure of such information "would
constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy." (1) These exemptions
are a vitally important part of the FOIA's statutory scheme, (2) but of course they
cannot be invoked to withhold from a requester information pertaining only to
himself. (3)


Initial Considerations

To warrant protection under Exemption 6, information must first meet its
threshold requirement; in other words, it must fall within the category of "personnel
and medical files and similar files." (4) Personnel and medical files are easily identified,
but there has not always been universal agreement about the meaning of the term
"similar files." Prior to 1982, judicial interpretations of that phrase varied
considerably and included a troublesome line of cases in the Court of Appeals for
the District of Columbia Circuit, commencing with Board of Trade v. Commodity
Futures Trading Commission
, (5) which narrowly construed the term to encompass
only "intimate" personal details.

In 1982, the Supreme Court acted decisively to resolve this controversy once
and for all. In United States Department of State v. Washington Post Co., (6) it firmly
held, based upon a review of the legislative history of the FOIA, that Congress
intended the term to be interpreted broadly, rather than narrowly. (7) The Court
stated that the protection of an individual's privacy "surely was not intended to turn
upon the label of the file which contains the damaging information." (8) Rather, the
Court made clear that all information that "applies to a particular individual" meets
the threshold requirement for Exemption 6 protection. (9) This means, of course, that
this threshold is met if the information applies to any particular, identifiable
individual -- which makes it readily satisfied in all but the most unusual cases of
questionable identifiability. (10)

The D.C. Circuit, sitting en banc, subsequently reinforced the Supreme Court's
broad interpretation of this term by holding that a tape recording of the last words
of the Space Shuttle Challenger crew, which "reveal[ed] the sound and inflection of
the crew's voices during the last seconds of their lives . . . contains personal
information the release of which is subject to the balancing of the public gain
against the private harm at which it is purchased." (11) Not only did the D.C. Circuit
determine that "lexical" and "non-lexical" information are subject to identical
treatment under the FOIA, (12) it also concluded that Exemption 6 is equally applicable
to the "author" and the "subject" of a file. (13)

Once it has been established that information meets the threshold
requirement of Exemption 6, the focus of the inquiry turns to whether disclosure of
the records at issue "would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal
privacy." (14) This requires a balancing of the public's right to disclosure against the
individual's right to privacy. (15) First, it must be ascertained whether a protectible
privacy interest exists that would be threatened by disclosure. If no privacy interest
is found, further analysis is unnecessary and the information at issue must be
disclosed. (16)

On the other hand, if a privacy interest is found to exist, the public interest in
disclosure, if any, must be weighed against the privacy interest in nondisclosure. (17) If
no public interest exists, the information should be protected; as the D.C. Circuit has
observed, "something, even a modest privacy interest, outweighs nothing every
time." (18) Similarly, if the privacy interest outweighs the public interest, the
information should be withheld; if the opposite is found to be the case, the
information should be released. (19)


The Reporters Committee Decision

In 1989, the Supreme Court issued a landmark FOIA decision in United States
Department of Justice v. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
, (20) which for
the past fifteen years has governed all privacy-protection decisionmaking under the
Act. The Reporters Committee case involved FOIA requests from members of the
news media for access to any criminal history records -- known as "rap sheets" --
maintained by the FBI regarding certain persons alleged to have been involved in
organized crime and improper dealings with a corrupt Congressman. (21) In holding
"rap sheets" entitled to protection under Exemption 7(C), the Supreme Court set
forth five guiding principles that govern the process by which determinations are
made under both Exemptions 6 and 7(C) alike:

First, the Supreme Court made clear in Reporters Committee that substantial
privacy interests can exist in personal information even though the information has
been made available to the general public at some place and point in time.
Establishing a "practical obscurity" standard, (22) the Court observed that if such items
of information actually "were 'freely available,' there would be no reason to invoke
the FOIA to obtain access to" them. (23)

Second, the Court articulated the general rule that the identity of a FOIA
requester cannot be taken into consideration in determining what should be
released under the Act. With the single exception that of course an agency will not
invoke an exemption when the particular interest to be protected is the requester's
own interest, the Court declared, "the identity of the requesting party has no bearing
on the merits of his or her FOIA request." (24)

Third, the Court declared that in determining whether any public interest
would be served by a requested disclosure, one should no longer consider "the
purposes for which the request for information is made." (25) Rather than turn on a
requester's "particular purpose," circumstances, or proposed use, the Court ruled,
such determinations "must turn on the nature of the requested document and its
relationship to" the public interest generally. (26)

Fourth, the Court narrowed the scope of the public interest to be considered
under the Act's privacy exemptions, declaring for the first time that it is limited to
"the kind of public interest for which Congress enacted the FOIA." (27) This "core
purpose of the FOIA," as the Court termed it, (28) is to "shed[] light on an agency's
performance of its statutory duties." (29)

Fifth, the Court established the proposition, under Exemption 7(C), that
agencies may engage in "categorical balancing" in favor of nondisclosure. (30) Under
this approach, which builds upon the above principles, it may be determined, "as a
categorical matter," that a certain type of information always is protectible under an
exemption, "without regard to individual circumstances." (31)


Privacy Considerations

The first step in the Exemption 6 balancing process requires an assessment of
the privacy interests at issue. (32) The relevant inquiry is whether public access to the
information at issue would violate a viable privacy interest of the subject of such
information. (33) In its Reporters Committee decision, the Supreme Court stressed that
"both the common law and the literal understandings of privacy encompass the
individual's control of information concerning his or her person," (34) just as in National
Archives & Records Administration v. Favish
the Court very recently drew upon the
common law to find the principle of "survivor privacy" encompassed within the Act's
privacy exemptions. (35) Indeed, in Reporters Committee the Court found a "strong
privacy interest" in the nondisclosure of records of a private citizen's criminal history,
"even where the information may have been at one time public." (36) Of course,
information need not be intimate or embarrassing to qualify for Exemption 6
protection. (37)

And for its part, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has
emphasized the practical analytical point that under the FOIA's privacy-protection
exemptions, "[t]he threat to privacy . . . need not be patent or obvious to be
relevant." (38) Therefore, as a general rule, the threat to privacy need only be real
rather than speculative. (39) In some cases, this principle formerly was interpreted to
mean that the privacy interest must be threatened by the very disclosure of
information and not by any possible "secondary effects" of such release. (40) The D.C.
Circuit, however, subsequently clarified its holding in Arieff v. United States
Department of the Navy
, (41) which had been read as stating that "secondary effects"
were not cognizable under Exemption 6. In National Association of Retired Federal
Employees v. Horner
[hereinafter NARFE], the D.C. Circuit explained that the point in
Arieff was that Exemption 6 was inapplicable because there was only "mere
speculation" of a privacy invasion, i.e., only a slight possibility that the information, if
disclosed, would be linked to a specific individual. (42)

Most recently, the Supreme Court did not at all concern itself with any issue of
"secondary effects" or "derivative privacy interest" in Favish. (43) Rather, a unanimous
Court in Favish
readily found that the surviving family members of former Deputy
White House Counsel Vincent Foster had a protectible privacy interest
in his death-scene photographs, based in part on the family's fears of
"intense scrutiny by the
media." (44) In doing so, the Court did not view a privacy interest based on "limit[ing]
attempts to exploit pictures of the family member's remains for public purposes" as
in any way too attenuated to qualify as a protectible privacy interest in the first
place. (45) This means that any consideration of potential privacy invasions must
include both what the requester might do with the information at hand and also
what any other requester, or ultimate recipient, might do with it as well. (46)

Indeed, it has explicitly been recognized by the D.C. Circuit that "[w]here
there is a substantial probability that disclosure will cause an interference with
personal privacy, it matters not that there may be two or three links in the causal
chain." (47) Even prior to the D.C. Circuit's clarification in NARFE, much less the
Supreme Court's subsequent illustration of this point in Favish, one court
pragmatically observed that to distinguish between the initial disclosure and
unwanted intrusions as a result of that disclosure would be "to honor form over
substance." (48)

In some instances, the disclosure of information might involve no invasion of
privacy because, fundamentally, the information is of such a nature that no
expectation of privacy exists. (49) For example, civilian federal employees generally
have no expectation of privacy regarding their names, titles, grades, salaries, and
duty stations as employees (50) or regarding the parts of their successful employment
applications that show their qualifications for their positions. (51) Historically, the
Department of Defense, as a matter of policy, in most circumstances disclosed the
name, rank, gross salary, duty assignments, duty phone numbers, source of
commission, promotion sequence number, awards and decorations, professional
military education, duty status, and other nonsensitive details of individual military
personnel, as well as comparable information concerning individual civilian
employees. (52) And by regulation, the Department of the Army discloses substantially
the same information concerning its military and civilian personnel. (53) However, in
light of recent terrorist activities around the world, the Department of Defense now
regularly withholds personally identifying information about all particular military
and civilian employees with respect to whom disclosure would "raise security or
privacy concerns." (54)

Additionally, if the information at issue is particularly well known or is widely
available within the public domain, there generally is no expectation of privacy. (55)
Nor does an individual have any expectation of privacy with respect to information
that he himself has made public. (56) On the other hand, if the information in question
was at some time or place available to the public, but now is "hard-to-obtain
information," the individual to whom it pertains may have a privacy interest in
maintaining its "practical obscurity." (57) Similarly, the mere fact that some of the
information may be known to some members of the public does not negate the
individual's privacy interest in preventing further dissemination to the public at
large. (58) For example, the Supreme Court in Favish did not diminish its estimation of
"the weighty privacy interests involved" just because Vincent Foster's death
occurred on national parkland and thus was "in public." (59) And one court has found
that the subject of a photograph introduced into the court record "retained at least
some privacy interest in preventing the further dissemination of the photographic
image" when "[t]he photocopy in the Court record was of such poor quality as to
severely limit its dissemination." (60)

As another example, FOIA requesters, except when they are making
first-party requests, do not ordinarily expect that their names will be
kept private;
therefore, release of their names would not cause even the minimal
invasion of
privacy necessary to trigger the balancing test. (61) Personal in-formation about FOIA
requesters, however, such as home addresses and home telephone numbers, should
not be disclosed. (62) In addition, the identities of first-party requesters under the
Privacy Act of 1974 (63) should be protected because, unlike under the FOIA, an
expectation of privacy can fairly be inferred from the personal nature of the records
involved in those requests. (64)

The majority of courts to have considered the issue have held that individuals
who write to the government expressing personal opinions generally do so with
some expectation of confidentiality unless they are advised to the contrary in
advance; their identities, but not necessarily the substance of their letters, ordinarily
should be withheld. (65) Recently, for instance, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth
Circuit protected under Exemption 7(C) the names and addresses of people who
wrote to the IRS expressing concerns about an organization's tax-exempt status. (66)
Likewise, the District Court for the District of Columbia reached the same conclusion
as the Fourth Circuit for the names and addresses of people who wrote to the IRS to
comment on the same organization's tax-exempt status, both pro and con. (67)
Nevertheless, in some circumstances courts have refused to accord privacy
protection to such government correspondents. (68)

Additionally, neither corporations nor business associations possess
protectible privacy interests. (69)
The closely held corporation or similar business entity, however, is an
exception to this principle: "While corporations have no
privacy, personal financial information is protected, including
information about
small businesses when the individual and corporation are identical." (70) Such an
individual's expectation of privacy is, however, diminished with regard to matters in
which he or she is acting in a business capacity. (71) In Doe v. Veneman, on the other
hand, the District Court for the Western District of Texas recently ruled that the
Department of Agriculture had erroneously labeled individuals (who were taking
part in a USDA program) as "businesses" based on either the number of livestock
they owned or the fact that they had a name for their ranch, and it found that
personally identifying information about those individuals was exempt from
disclosure. (72)

The Supreme Court held unanimously in Favish that the "FOIA recognizes
surviving family members' right to personal privacy with respect to their close
relative's death-scene images." (73) This case involved a request for several death-scene photographs of Deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster. (74) The
government protected the photographs under the FOIA, but the lower courts
ordered them disclosed. (75) Favish argued, relying on particular language in
Reporter's Committee, that only the individual who was the direct "subject" of the
records could have a privacy interest in those records. (76) The Court flatly rejected
this argument, stating that "[t]he right to personal privacy is not confined, as Favish
argues, to the 'right to control information about oneself. Favish misreads [our
opinion] in Reporter's Committee and adopts too narrow an interpretation of the
case's holding." (77)

The Court then decided that "survivor privacy" was a valid privacy interest
protected by Exemption 7(C), based on three factors. First, Reporter's Committee
did not restrict personal privacy as "some limited or 'cramped notion' of that
idea," (78)so personal privacy is broad enough to protect surviving family members'
"own privacy rights against public intrusions." (79) Second, the Court reviewed the long
tradition at common law of "acknowledging a family's control over the body and
death images of the deceased." (80) Third, the Court reasoned that Congress used that
background in creating Exemption 7(C), including the fact that the governmentwide
FOIA policy memoranda of two Attorneys General had specifically extended privacy
protection to families. (81)

Thus, the Supreme Court endorsed the holdings of several lower courts in
recognizing that surviving family members have a protectible privacy interest in
sensitive, often graphic, personal details about the circumstances surrounding an
individual's death. (82) Further, while the Favish case involved graphic photographs,
the Court's decision also supported the holdings of other courts that even
information that is not so graphically sensitive in and of itself may be withheld to
protect the privacy interests of surviving family members if disclosure would cause
"'a disruption of their peace of minds.'" (83)

Also of significance is the fact that the Supreme Court's decision in Favish
made it quite clear that the Court was not recognizing the "survivor privacy"
principle on the basis of any surviving privacy interest of Mr. Foster, i.e., his "own
posthumous reputation or some other interest personal to him." (84) Instead, the
principle was applied based upon the Foster family's "own right and interest" in
personal privacy protection. (85) The Court characterized this interest as the privacy
interest of the family members in being "secure [in] their own refuge from a
sensation-seeking culture[,] for their own peace of mind and tranquility." (86) Thus, the
Court's adoption of "survivor privacy" does not alter the longstanding FOIA rule that
death extinguishes one's privacy rights. (87) Most specifically, the Court in Favish did
not place any reliance on a recent potential variant of the concept that "focuse[d] on
the interests of the deceased person even apart from the interests of his or her
survivors." (88) That decedent-based approach has never been embraced as a matter
of policy by the Department of Justice, and the Supreme Court likewise did not
embrace it in Favish. (89)

On another point involved in Favish, public figures do not surrender all rights
to privacy by placing themselves in the public eye, though certainly their
expectations of privacy in general may be diminished. In some instances, "[t]he
degree of intrusion is indeed potentially augmented by the fact that the individual is
a well known figure." (90) It has been held that dis-closure of sensitive personal
information contained in investigative records about a public figure is appropriate
"only where exceptional interests militate in favor of disclosure." (91) Thus, although
one's status as a public figure might in some circumstances factor into the privacy
balance, a public figure does not, by virtue of his status, forfeit all rights of privacy. (92)
Indeed, in Favish, former Deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster's status as
both a public figure in the "Whitewater" matter and a high-level government official
did not, in the Supreme Court's opinion, "detract" at all from the "weighty privacy
interests involved." (93) Likewise, a candidate for a political office, either federal or
nonfederal, does not forfeit all rights to privacy. (94) It also should be noted in this
regard that, unlike under the Privacy Act, foreign nationals are entitled to the same
basic privacy rights under the FOIA as are U.S. citizens. (95)

Individuals do not waive their privacy rights merely by signing a document
that states that information may be released to third parties under the FOIA. (96) As
one court has observed, such a statement is not a waiver of the right to
confidentiality, it is merely a warning by the agency and corresponding
acknowledgment by the signers "that the information they were providing could be
subject to release." (97) Similarly, individuals who sign a petition, knowing that those
who sign afterward will observe their signatures, do not waive their privacy
interests. (98) While such persons "would have no reason to be concerned that a
limited number of like-minded individuals may have seen their names," they may well
be concerned "that the petition not become available to the general public, including
those opposing [the petitioners' position]." (99)

It also is important to remember that while the government may voluntarily or
involuntarily waive its right to an exemption when its own interests are at stake, it
cannot waive an individual's privacy interests under the FOIA by unilaterally
publicizing information about that person. (100) The privacy interest inherent in
Exemption 6 "belongs to the individual, not the agency holding the information," and
"the fact that otherwise private information at one time or in some way may have
been placed in the public domain does not mean that a person irretrievably loses his
or her privacy interest in the information." (101)

In addition, individuals who testify at criminal trials do not forfeit their rights
to privacy except on those very matters that become part of the public record. (102)
Nor do individuals who plead guilty to criminal charges lose all rights to privacy with
regard to the proceedings against them. (103) Similarly, individuals who provide law
enforcement agencies with reports of illegal conduct have well-recognized privacy
interests, particularly when such persons reasonably fear reprisals for their
assistance. (104) Even absent any evidence of fear of reprisals, however, witnesses
who provide information to investigative bodies -- administrative and civil, as well as
criminal -- ordinarily are accorded privacy protection. (105) (For a more detailed
discussion of the privacy protection accorded such law enforcement sources, see
Exemption 7(C), below.)

An agency ordinarily is not required to conduct research to determine
whether an individual has died or whether his activities have sufficiently become the
subject of public knowledge so as to bar the application of Exemption 6. (106) Most
recently, and quite significantly, the D.C. Circuit upheld the use of the FBI's "100-year
rule," whereby the FBI assumes that an individual is alive unless his or her birthdate
is more than 100 years ago, in making its privacy protection determinations. (107) This
general rule is further strengthened by the Supreme Court's observations in
Reporters Committee that "without regard to individual circumstances" certain
categories of records will always warrant privacy protection and that "the standard
virtues of bright-line rules are thus present, and the difficulties attendant to ad hoc
adjudication may be avoided." (108) Before the D.C. Circuit's decision in that case
several courts, faced with very old documents, refused to accept the presumption
that all individuals mentioned in such documents were alive. (109)

Faced with "reverse" FOIA challenges, several courts have had to consider
whether to order agencies not to release records pertaining to individuals that
agencies had determined should be disclosed. (110) In a case that reached the Court of
Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, the signers of a petition requesting a referendum to
abolish a mandatory payment by pork producers sued to prevent the Department of
Agriculture from releasing their names pursuant to a FOIA request. (111) The Eighth
Circuit agreed that, under the standards of the Administrative Procedure Act, (112) the
Department of Agriculture's initial disclosure determination was not in accordance
with law and the names must be withheld. (113)

By contrast, a Native Hawaiian group brought suit to enjoin the Department of
the Navy from making public certain information concerning a large group of Native
Hawaiian human remains that had been inventoried pursuant to the Native
American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. (114) The court in that case held
that the agency properly had determined that the information did not qualify for
Exemption 6 protection and that it could be released. (115)

These privacy "reverse" FOIA cases are similar in posture to the more
common "reverse" FOIA cases that are based upon a business submitter's claim that
information falls within Exemption 4, cases which ordinarily are triggered by the
"submitter notice" requirements of Executive Order 12,600. (116) (See the further
discussion of this point under "Reverse" FOIA, below.) Despite this similarity,
though, there is no requirement that an agency notify record subjects of the intent to
disclose personal information about them or that it "track down an individual about
whom another has requested information merely to obtain the former's permission
to comply with the request." (117) Of course, a party seeking to protect his or her own
privacy in-terest always can move to intervene in an ongoing lawsuit between an
agency and a FOIA requester. (118)


Factoring in the Public Interest

Once it has been determined that a personal privacy interest is threatened by
a requested disclosure, the second step in the balancing process comes into play;
this stage of the analysis requires an assessment of the public interest in
disclosure. (119) The burden of establishing that disclosure would serve the public
interest is on the requester. (120) In its Re-porters Committee decision, the Supreme
Court limited the concept of public interest under the FOIA to the "core purpose" for
which Congress enacted it: To "shed[] light on an agency's performance of its
statutory duties." (121) Information that does not directly reveal the operations or
activities of the federal government, (122) the Supreme Court repeatedly has stressed,
"falls outside the ambit of the public interest that the FOIA was enacted to serve." (123)
If an asserted public interest is found to qualify under this standard, it then must be
accorded some measure of value so that it can be weighed against the threat to
privacy. (124) And, as the Supreme Court in Favish pointedly emphasized, "the public
interest sought to be advanced [must be] a significant one." (125)

Even prior to Reporters Committee the law was clear that disclosure must
benefit the public overall and not just the requester himself. For example, a number
of courts determined that a request made for purely commercial purposes does not
further a public interest. (126) The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit alone had
adopted an approach that specifically factored the requester's personal interest in
disclosure into the balancing process. (127)

In Reporters Committee, the Supreme Court approved the majority view that
the requester's personal interest is irrelevant. First, as the Court emphasized, the
requester's identity can have "no bearing on the merits of his or her FOIA request." (128)
In so declaring, the Court ruled unequivocally that agencies should treat all
requesters alike in making FOIA disclosure decisions; the only exception to this, the
Court specifically noted, is that of course an agency should not withhold from a
requester any information that implicates only that requester's own interest. (129)
Furthermore, the "public interest" balancing required under the privacy exemptions
should not include consideration of the requester's "particular purpose" in making
the request. (130) Instead, the Court has instructed, the proper approach to the
balancing process is to focus on "the nature of the requested document" and to
consider "its relationship to" the public interest generally. (131) This approach thus
does not permit attention to the special circumstances of any particular FOIA
requester. (132) Rather, it necessarily involves a more general "public interest"
assessment based upon the contents and context of the records sought and their
connection to any "public interest" that would be served by disclosure. In making
such assessments, agencies should look to the possible effects of disclosure to the
public in general. (133)

Accordingly, a request made for the purpose of obtaining "impeachment
evidence, such as that required to be produced pursuant to Brady v. Maryland" does
not further the public interest; (134) nor does a request made in order to obtain or
supplement discovery in a private lawsuit serve the public interest. (135) In fact, one
court has observed that if the requester truly had a great need for the records for
purposes of litigation, he or she should seek them in that forum, where it would be
possible to provide them under an appropriate protective order. (136)

One purpose that the FOIA was designed for is to "check against corruption
and to hold the governors accountable to the governed." (137) Indeed, information that
would inform the public of violations of the public trust has a strong public interest
and is accorded great weight in the balancing process. (138) As a general rule,
demonstrated wrongdoing of a serious and intentional nature by a high-level
government official is of sufficient public interest to outweigh almost any privacy
interest of that official. (139)

By contrast, less serious misconduct by low-level agency employees generally
is not considered of sufficient public interest to outweigh the privacy interest of the
employee. (140) Nor is there likely to be strong public interest in disclosure of the
names of censured employees when the case has not "occurred against the
backdrop of a well-publicized scandal" that has resulted in "widespread knowledge"
that certain employees were disciplined. (141)

And any asserted "public interest" in resolving mere allegations of
wrongdoing cannot outweigh an individual's privacy interest in avoiding
unwarranted association with such allegations. (142) Indeed, in Favish, the Supreme
Court firmly held that mere allegations of wrongdoing are "insufficient" to satisfy the
"public interest" standard required under the FOIA. (143) The Court observed that if
"bare allegations" could be sufficient to satisfy the public interest requirement, then
the exemption would be "transformed .  . . into nothing more than a rule of
pleading." (144) Indeed, if mere allegations were all that were necessary to override a
personal privacy interest, then that privacy interest would become worthless. (145)

Moreover, even when the existence of an investigation of misconduct has
become publicly known, the accused individual ordinarily has an overriding privacy
interest in not having the further details of the matter disclosed. (146) And even where
misconduct actually is found, the agency is not necessarily required to disclose every
piece of information pertaining to the investigation. (147)

As an exception to the general rule of protecting the details of alleged but
unproven misconduct, it is the policy of the Department of Justice to disclose the
results of its Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) investigations of its
attorneys more broadly. The Department has determined that because of the
special role of its attorneys in litigation and investigations there is a heightened
public interest in their activities, comparable to the heightened interest in the
activities of high-level officials, particularly in the context of the strong public interest
in the effectiveness of the OPR misconduct-investigation process. (148) Accordingly,
upon completion of an OPR investigation, the Department's policy is to disclose the
final disposition when (1) there is a finding of intentional or knowing professional
misconduct in the course of an investigation or litigation and the public interest
outweighs the attorney's privacy interest and any law enforcement interests; (2)
there are allegations of serious professional misconduct where there has been a
demonstration of public interest in the disposition, including matters in which there
has been a public referral by a court or bar association, and the public interest
outweighs the attorney's privacy interest and any law enforcement interests; or (3)
the attorney requests disclosure and law enforcement interests would not be
compromised. (149)

Prior to Reporters Committee, some courts held that the public interest in
disclosure may be embodied in other federal statutes. (150) In light of Reporters
Committee
and National Association of Retired Federal Employees v. Horner
[hereinafter NARFE], (151) the Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia, First,
Second, Sixth, Seventh, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits flatly rejected this approach,
refusing to order disclosure of the home addresses of government employees on the
explicit basis that the public interest in disclosure evidenced in the Federal Service
Labor-Management Relations Act (152) [hereinafter FSLMRA] cannot be factored into
the balance under the FOIA. (153) On the other hand, the Third, Fifth, and Ninth Circuit
Courts of Appeals reached the opposite conclusion and ordered disclosure of the
home addresses of bargaining unit employees to unions that requested them under
the FSLMRA. (154) These circuit courts all declared that the Supreme Court had not
considered specifically whether the public policy favoring collective bargaining
embodied in the FSLMRA could be considered in balancing under the FOIA;
consequently, none of these courts found an inconsistency between its holding and
the teachings of Reporters Committee. (155)

Because of this split in the circuits, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in
the Fifth Circuit case and finally resolved this issue in 1994. (156) The Court decisively
reiterated the principles laid down in Reporters Committee and said the fact that it
was looking at Exemption 6 rather than Exemption 7(C) in this case was "of little
import"; the two exemptions differ in the "magnitude of the public interest that is
required," not in the "identification of the relevant public interest." (157) The Court
concluded that "because all FOIA requestors have an equal, and equally qualified,
right to information, the fact that [FOIA requesters] are seeking to vindicate the
policies behind the Labor Statute is irrelevant to the FOIA analysis." (158) The only
relevant public interest under the FOIA remains, as set forth in Reporters
Committee
, "'the citizens' right to be informed about what their government is up
to.'" (159)

On a related question concerning another federal statute -- the Davis-Bacon
Act, (160) which requires that contractors on federal projects pay to their laborers no
less than the wages prevailing for comparable work in their geographical area -- the
D.C. and Second Circuits were the first post-Reporters Committee courts of appeals
to confront this issue, and the Third and Tenth Circuits subsequently addressed it as
well. These four courts have firmly held that although there may be a minimal public
interest in facilitating the monitoring of compliance with federal labor statutes,
disclosure of personal information that reveals nothing "directly about the character
of a government agency or official" bears only an "attenuated . . . relationship to
governmental activity." (161) Accordingly, it has been held that such an "attenuated
public interest in disclosure does not outweigh the construction workers' significant
privacy interest in [their names and addresses]." (162)

Overturning the decisions of two lower courts, (163) the Ninth Circuit
characteristically took a different approach, but properly reached the same result. (164)
The Ninth Circuit found a public interest in monitoring the agency's "diligence in
enforcing Davis-Bacon," but found the weight to be given that interest weakened
when the public benefit was derived neither directly from the release of the
information itself nor from mere tabulation of data or further research but rather
from personal contact with the individuals whose privacy is at issue. (165)

Public oversight of government operations is the essence of public interest
under the FOIA, and in the past courts have found that one who claims such a
purpose must support his claim by more than mere allegation; he must show that
the information in question is "of sufficient importance to warrant such" oversight, (166)
and he had to show how the public interest would be served by disclosure in the
particular case. (167) Most recently, the Supreme Court in Favish found the Ninth
Circuit's reliance on mere allegations of government wrongdoing to be simply
"insufficient." (168) The Court pointedly recognized that "allegations of misconduct are
'easy to allege and hard to disprove'" (169) and that courts therefore must require a
"meaningful evidentiary showing" by the FOIA requester. (170) Therefore, the Court
adopted a higher standard for evaluation of "agency wrongdoing" claims and held
that "the requester must establish more than a bare suspicion in order to obtain
disclosure. Rather, the requester must produce evidence that would warrant a
belief by a reasonable person that the alleged Government impropriety might have
occurred." (171) And in such cases, this higher standard applies above and beyond the
"qualifying public interest" standard of Reporters Committee. (172) Accordingly,
assertions of "public interest" should be scrutinized carefully to ensure that they
legitimately warrant the overriding of important privacy interests. (173)

As stated by the Second Circuit in Hopkins v. HUD, "[t]he simple invocation of
a legitimate public interest . . . cannot itself justify the release of personal
information. Rather, a court must first ascertain whether that interest would be
served by disclosure." (174) The Second Circuit in Hopkins
found a legitimate public
interest in monitoring HUD's enforcement of prevailing wage laws
generally, but
found that disclosure of the names and addresses of workers employed on
HUD-assisted public housing projects would shed no light on the
agency's performance of
that duty in particular. (175) Even the Ninth Circuit in Minnis v. USDA recognized a valid
public interest in questioning the fairness of an agency lottery system that awarded
permits to raft down the Rogue River, but found, upon careful analysis, that the
release of the names and addresses of the applicants would in no way further that
interest. (176) Similarly, in Heights Community Congress v. VA, (177) the Sixth Circuit found
that the release of names and home addresses would result only in the "involuntary
personal involvement" of innocent purchasers rather than appreciably furthering a
concededly valid public interest in determining whether anyone had engaged in
"racial steering." Several courts, moreover, have observed that the minimal amount
of information of interest to the public revealed by a single incident or investigation
does not shed enough light on an agency's conduct to overcome the subject's privacy
interest in his records. (178)

Such holdings properly presaged the Supreme Court's emphasis on the
required "nexus between the requested information and the asserted public interest
that would be advanced by disclosure" in Favish, (179) and they are entirely consistent
with the Court's determination in Reporters Committee that the "rap sheet" of a
defense contractor, if such existed, would reveal nothing directly about the behavior
of the Congressman with whom the contractor allegedly had an improper
relationship, nor would it reveal anything about the conduct of the DOD. (180) The
information must clearly reveal official government activities; it is not enough that
the information would permit speculative inferences about the conduct of an agency
or a government official, (181) or that it might aid the requester in lobbying efforts that
would result in passage of laws and thus benefit the public in that respect. (182)

A very significant development concerning this issue occurred in United
States Department of State v. Ray
, (183) when the Supreme Court recognized a
legitimate public interest in whether the State Department was adequately
monitoring Haiti's promise not to prosecute Haitians who were returned to their
country after failed attempts to enter the United States, but the Court determined
that this public interest had been "adequately served" by release of redacted
summaries of the agency's interviews with the returnees and that "[t]he addition of
the redacted identifying information would not shed any additional light on the
Government's conduct of its obligation." (184) Although the plaintiff claimed that
disclosure of the identities of the unsuccessful emigrants would allow him to
reinterview them and elicit further information concerning their treatment, the Court
found "nothing in the record to suggest that a second set of interviews with the
already-interviewed returnees would produce any relevant information . . . . Mere
speculation about hypothetical public benefits cannot outweigh a demonstrably
significant invasion of privacy." (185)

The Supreme Court expressly declined in Ray to decide whether a public
interest that stems not from the documents themselves but rather from a "derivative
use" to which the documents could be put could ever be weighed in the balancing
process against a privacy interest. (186) Subsequently, however, several lower courts
faced the "derivative use" issue and ordered the release of names and home
addresses of private individuals in certain contexts despite the fact that the public
benefit to be derived from release of the information depended upon the requesters'
use of the lists to question those individuals concerning the government's diligence
in performing its duties. These courts have found a "derivative use" public interest in
a list of individuals who sold land to the Fish and Wildlife Service, which could be
used to contact the individuals to determine how the agency acquires property
throughout the United States; (187) a list of Haitian nationals returned to Haiti, which
could be used for follow-up interviews with the Haitians to learn "whether the INS is
fulfilling its duties not to turn away Haitians who may have valid claims for political
asylum"; (188) a list of citizens who reported wolf sightings, which could be used to
monitor the Fish and Wildlife Service's enforcement of the Endangered Species
Act; (189) the names of agents involved in the management and supervision of the FBI's
1972 investigation of John Lennon, which could be used to help determine whether
the investigation was politically motivated; (190) the name and address of an individual
who wrote a letter complaining about an immigration assistance company, which
could be used to determine whether the INS acted upon the complaint; (191) and the
names and addresses of individuals who received property seized under federal
law, which could enable the public to assess the government's exercise of its power
to seize and dispose of property. (192)

However, the District Court for the District of Columbia more recently reached
a different result, with more cogent reasoning, in Hertzberg v. Veneman. (193) In that
case, the plaintiff argued that disclosure of the names and identifying information
that were withheld on witness statements would serve the public interest because,
he said, it would allow him to contact the witnesses. (194) The court disagreed with
this argument and it stated that "disclosure is not compelled under the FOIA [just]
because the link between the request and the potential illumination of agency action
is too attenuated. Plaintiff cites no case recognizing a derivative theory of public
interest, and this Court does not understand the FOIA to encompass such a
concept." (195) And now the Supreme Court's very recent emphasis in Favish on "the
necessary nexus between" the information requested and the "public interest" to be
served, at a minimum, calls this "derivative use" notion into even greater question. (196)

Finally, if alternative, less intrusive means are available to obtain information
that would serve the public interest, there is less need to require disclosure of
information that would cause an invasion of someone's privacy. Accordingly, "[w]hile
[this is] certainly not a per se defense to a FOIA request," it is entirely appropriate,
when assessing the public interest side of the balancing equation, to consider "the
extent to which there are alternative sources of information available that could
serve the public interest in disclosure." (197) In Favish, the Supreme Court recognized
that the government had thoroughly investigated the suicide of Vincent Foster and
that "[i]t would be quite extraordinary to say we must ignore the fact that five
different inquiries into the Foster matter reached the same conclusion." (198) Indeed, if
there are alternative sources, the D.C. Circuit has firmly ruled, the public interest in
disclosure should be "discounted" accordingly. (199)

Similarly, although courts ordinarily discuss the "public interest" as weighing
in favor of disclosure, several courts have implicitly recognized that there can be a
public interest in the nondisclosure of personal privacy information -- particularly, the
public interest in avoiding the impairment of ongoing and future law enforcement
investigations. (200) Most explicitly, the D.C. Circuit, in Fund for Constitutional
Government v. National Archives & Records Service
, has recognized that the "public
interest properly factors into both sides of the balance." (201)


The Balancing Process

Once both the privacy interest at stake and the public interest in disclosure
have been ascertained, the two competing interests must be weighed against one
another. (202) In other words, it must be determined which is the greater result of
disclosure: the harm to personal privacy or the benefit to the public. (203) In balancing
these interests, "the 'clearly unwarranted' language of Exemption 6 weights the
scales in favor of disclosure," (204) but if the public benefit is weaker than the threat to
privacy, the latter will prevail and the information should be withheld. (205) The threat
to privacy need not be immediate or direct; (206) it need only outweigh the public
interest. (207)

Although "the presumption in favor of disclosure is as strong [under
Exemption 6] as can be found anywhere in the Act," (208) the courts have most
vigorously protected the personal, intimate details of an individual's life --
consistently protecting personal information that, if disclosed, is likely to cause the
individual involved personal distress or embarrassment. Courts regularly uphold the
nondisclosure of information concerning marital status, legitimacy of children,
welfare payments, family fights and reputation, (209) medical condition, (210) date of
birth, (211) religious affiliation, (212) citizenship data, (213) genealogical history establishing
membership in a Native American Tribe, (214) social security numbers, (215) criminal
history records (commonly referred to as "rap sheets"), (216) incarceration of United
States citizens in foreign prisons, (217) sexual inclinations or associations, (218) and
financial status. (219) Even "favorable information," such as details of an employee's
outstanding performance evaluation, can be protected on the basis that it "may well
embarrass an individual or incite jealousy" among co-workers. (220) Moreover, re-lease
of such information "reveals by omission the identities of employees who did not
receive high ratings, creating an invasion of their privacy." (221)

A subject that has generated extensive litigation and that warrants special
discussion is requests for compilations of names and home addresses of individuals.
Prior to the Reporters Committee decision, the courts' analyses in "mailing list" cases
ordinarily turned on the requester's purpose, or the "use" to which the requested
information was intended to be put. (222) The Supreme Court in Reporters Committee,
however, firmly repudiated any analysis based on the identity, circumstances, or
intended purpose of the particular FOIA requester at hand. (223) Rather, it said, the
analysis must turn on the nature of the document and its relationship to the basic
purpose of the FOIA. (224) Following Reporters Committee, the Court of Appeals for
the District of Columbia Circuit found that those cases relying on the stated
"beneficial" purpose of the requester were grounded on the now-disapproved
proposition that "Exemption 6 carries with it an implicit limitation that the
information, once disclosed, [may] be used only by the requesting party and for the
public interest purpose upon which the balancing was based." (225)

Because agencies may neither distinguish between requesters nor limit the
use to which disclosed information is put, (226) an analysis of the consequences of
disclosure of a mailing list cannot turn on the identity or purpose of the requester. (227)
Thus, it was found to be irrelevant by the Supreme Court in Bibles v. Oregon Natural
Desert Ass'n
that the requester's purpose was to use the Bureau of Land
Management mailing list to send information reflecting another viewpoint to people
who had received newsletters reflecting the government's viewpoint. (228) In NARFE, it
was found to be irrelevant that the requester's purpose was to use the list of federal
retirees to aid in its lobbying efforts on behalf of those retirees. (229) Although
stopping short of creating a nondisclosure category encompassing all mailing lists,
the D.C. Circuit in NARFE did hold that mailing lists consisting of names and home
addresses of federal annuitants are categorically withholdable under Exemption 6. (230)
(See discussion of "derivative use" theory under Exemption 6, Factoring in the Public
Interest, above.)

Although the Supreme Court twice has specifically considered the issue and,
without dissent, held that compilations of names and home addresses of United
States residents are protectible under Exemption 6, (231) several lower courts
nonetheless subsequently have ordered the disclosure of such lists. Some of these
courts have found little or no privacy interest in the names and addresses. (232) Other
courts have ordered the release of such personal information on the rationale that
the names and addresses themselves would reveal (or lead to other information that
would reveal) how the agency conducted some aspect of its business. (233) One court,
in a particularly unusual decision, ordered disclosure of the names and cities of
residence of individuals granted permits to use Forest Service lands to "aid in
determining whether improper influence is used to obtain permits or whether
permits are being granted to those with a past history of environmental abuses," but
affirmed the withholding of street addresses because there was "no showing that
knowledge of the street addresses will provide additional insight into agency
activities that would not be revealed with disclosure of names and cities of
residence alone." (234)

In another unusual decision, the D.C. Circuit remanded a case to the district
court to determine whether some of the names of individual depositors with
unclaimed funds at banks for which the FDIC is now the receiver should be released
to a professional money finder. (235) Introducing a new element into the balancing test
for this particular type of information, the D.C. Circuit held that the standard test "is
inapposite here, i.e., where the individuals whom the government seeks to protect
have a clear interest in the release of the requested information." (236) As guidance to
the lower court charged with applying this novel approach, the D.C. Circuit ordered,
first, that "release of names associated with unclaimed deposits should not be
matched with the amount owed to that individual" and, second, that "on remand, the
District Court must determine the dollar amount below which an individual's privacy
interest should be deemed to outweigh his or her interest in discovering his or her
money, such that the names of depositors with lesser amounts may be redacted." (237)
It is unclear, however, whether this highly unconventional privacy balancing analysis
can be squared with the subsequent analysis of personal privacy protection that
was adopted by the Supreme Court in Favish. (238)

Other courts, more in line with the teachings of the Supreme Court, have
protected compilations of names and addresses. For example, when the request
clearly is for the purpose of soliciting business or for other commercial purposes,
most courts readily have found mailing lists to be protectible. (239) Even when there is
no apparent commercial interest at stake, other courts have found the possible
public interest too attenuated to overcome the clear privacy interest an individual
has in his name and home address. (240) Yet other courts have protected mailing lists,
emphasizing the increased privacy interest inherent in a list that reveals sensitive
information beyond the mere names and addresses of the individuals found on the
list. (241) And when a requester seeks the address of a named individual for a purely
private purpose, courts have found the privacy interest to be at its zenith and the
public interest to be at its nadir. (242)

Another area that merits particular discussion is the applicability of
Exemption 6 to requests for information about civilian and military federal
employees. Generally, civilian employees' names, present and past position titles,
grades, salaries, and duty stations are releasable as no viable privacy interest exists
in such data. (243) The Department of Justice recommends the release of additional
items, particularly those relating to professional qualifications for federal
employment. (244) By regulation, the Department of the Army discloses the name, rank,
date of rank, gross salary, duty assignments, office telephone number, source of
commission, promotion sequence number, awards and decorations, educational
level, and duty status of most of its military personnel and the name, past and
present position titles, grades, salaries, and duty stations of its civilian employees. (245)
Historically, the entire Department of Defense disclosed the same information and
other nonsensitive data concerning most of its servicemembers and civilian
employees. (246)

By statutory enactment as well as by regulation, certain military personnel
throughout the Department of Defense are properly afforded greater privacy
protection than other servicemembers and nonmilitary employees. (247) Even prior to
enactment of such special statutory protection, courts had found that because of the
threat of terrorism, military servicemembers stationed outside the United States
have a greater expectation of privacy. (248) Courts have, however, ordered the release
of names of military personnel stationed in the United States. (249) In light of recent
terrorist activities within the United States and the resulting heightened security
awareness nationwide, however, the Department of Defense now withholds
personally identifying information concerning its military and civilian personnel
stationed within the United States whenever release would "raise security or privacy
concerns." (250) Additionally, certain other federal employees such as law enforcement
personnel and Internal Revenue Service employees possess, by virtue of the nature
of their work, protectible privacy interests in their identities and work addresses. (251)
(See the further discussions of these issues under Exemption 2, "Low 2": Trivial
Matters, above, and Exemption 7(C), below.)

Purely personal details pertaining to government employees are protectible
under Exemption 6. (252) Indeed, courts generally have recognized the sensitivity of
information contained in personnel-related files and have accorded protection to the
personal details of a federal employee's service. (253) In addition, the identities of
persons who apply but are not selected for federal government employment may be
protected. (254) Even suggestions submitted to an Employee Suggestion Program may
be withheld to protect employees with whom the suggestions are identifiable from
the embarrassment that might occur from disclosure. (255)

Similarly, the courts customarily have extended protection to the identities of
mid- and low-level federal employees accused of misconduct, as well as to the
details and results of any internal investigations into such allegations of
impropriety. (256) The D.C. Circuit has reaffirmed this position in Dunkelberger v.
Department of Justice
. (257) It made very clear in Dunkelberger that, even post-Reporters Committee, the D.C. Circuit's decision in Stern v. FBI remains solid
guidance for the balancing of the privacy interests of federal employees found to
have committed wrongdoing against the public interest in shedding light on agency
activities. (258)

During the 1980s, a peculiar line of cases began to develop within the D.C.
Circuit regarding the professional or business conduct of an individual. Specifically,
the courts began to require the disclosure of information concerning an individual's
business dealings with the federal government; indeed, even embarrassing
information, if related to an individual's professional life, was subject to disclosure. (259)
Similarly, the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit suggested that the disclosure of a
document prepared by a government employee during the course of his
employment "will not constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy
simply because it would invite a negative reaction or cause embarrassment in the
sense that a position is thought by others to be wrong or inadequate." (260)

In five later cases, however, the D.C. Circuit reached firm nondisclosure
decisions, with no discussion of this consideration at all. (261) Then it clarified that any
such lack of privacy an individual has in his business dealings applies only to purely
"'business judgments and relationships.'" (262) Indeed, an individual has a very strong
interest in allegations of wrongdoing or in the fact that he or she was a target of a
law enforcement investigation, even when the alleged wrongdoing occurred in the
course of the individual's professional activities. (263) Moreover, under Reporters
Committee
, an individual doing business with the federal government certainly may
have some protectible privacy interest, and such dealings with the government do
not alone necessarily implicate a public interest that furthers the purpose of the
FOIA. (264)

In applying Exemption 6, it must be remembered that all reasonably
segregable, nonexempt portions of requested records must be released. (265) (See the
discussions of this issue under Procedural Requirements, "Reasonably Segregable"
Obligation, above, and Litigation Considerations, "Reasonably Segregable"
Requirements, below.) For example, in Department of the Air Force v. Rose, the
Supreme Court ordered the release of case summaries of disciplinary proceedings,
provided that personal identifying information was deleted. (266) Likewise, circuit
courts of appeals have upheld the nondisclosure of the names and identifying
information of employee-witnesses when disclosure would link each witness to a
particular previously disclosed statement, (267) have ordered the disclosure of
computerized lists of numbers and types of drugs routinely ordered by the
congressional pharmacy after deletion of any item identifiable to a specific
individual, (268) and have ordered the disclosure of documents concerning disciplined
IRS employees, provided that all names and other identifying information were
deleted. (269)

Nevertheless, in some situations the deletion of personal identifying
information may not be adequate to provide necessary privacy protection. It is
significant in this regard that in Department of the Air Force v. Rose, the Supreme
Court specifically admonished that if it were determined on remand that the
deletions of personal references were not sufficient to safeguard privacy, then the
summaries of disciplinary hearings should not be released. (270)

Despite the admonition of the Supreme Court in Rose, though, a few isolated
courts later permitted redaction only of information that directly identified the
individuals to whom it pertains. In ordering the disclosure of information pertaining
to air traffic controllers who were reinstated in their jobs shortly after their 1982
strike, the Sixth Circuit, in Norwood v. FAA, held that only items that "by themselves"
would identify the individual -- names, present and pre-removal locations, and social
security numbers -- could be withheld. (271) It later modified its opinion to state that,
although there might be instances in which an agency could justify the withholding
of "information other than 'those items which "by themselves" would identify the
individuals,'" the FAA in this case had "made no such particularized effort, relying
generally on the claim that 'fragments of information' might be able to be pieced
together into an identifiable set of circumstances." (272)

Similarly, the District Court for the Northern District of California ordered the
disclosure of application packages for candidates for an Air Force graduate degree
program with the redaction of only the applicants' names, addresses, and social
security numbers. (273) Although the packets regularly contained detailed descriptions
of the applicants' education, careers, projects, and achievements, the court
concluded that it could not "discern how there is anything more than a 'mere
possibility' that [the requester] or others will be able to discern to which particular
applicant each redacted application corresponds." (274) And more recently, the District
Court for the Southern District of Ohio found "much too speculative" the Air Force's
argument that disclosure of medical malpractice settlement figures could permit
researchers to "comb local news articles, possibly discovering the identity of
claimants and interfering with their privacy rights." (275) That court concluded that
"[t]he mere possibility that factual information might be pieced together to supply
the 'missing link,' and lead to personal identification, does not exempt such
information from disclosure" under Exemption 6. (276) The same court, in a different
case brought by the same FOIA requester, even went so far as to rule that the
government cannot rely on the sophistication of modern online search engines as a
justification to withhold information under Exemption 6. (277) This not only flies in the
face of Rose, it defies the Supreme Court's commonsense recognition of the power of
"computer[ization]" as itself a powerful privacy-protection factor in Reporters
Committee
. (278)

Indeed the overwhelming majority of courts take a much broader view of the
redaction process. For example, to protect those persons who were the subjects of
disciplinary actions that were later dismissed, the D.C. Circuit has upheld the
nondisclosure of public information contained in such disciplinary files when the
redaction of personal information would not be adequate to protect the privacy of
the subjects because the requester could easily obtain and compare unredacted
copies of the documents from public sources. (279) When the information in question
concerns a small group of individuals who are known to each other and easily
identifiable from the details contained in the information, redaction might not
adequately protect privacy interests. (280) Likewise, when the information is "unique
and specific" to the subjects of a record, "individual identities may become apparent
from the specific details set forth in [the] documents," so that "deletion of personal
identifying information . . . may not be adequate to provide the necessary privacy
protection." (281) Indeed, a determination of what constitutes identifying information
requires both an objective analysis and an analysis "from the vantage point of those
familiar with the mentioned individuals." (282) Of course, when a FOIA request is by its
very terms limited to privacy-sensitive information pertaining to an identified or
identifiable individual, redaction is not possible. (283)

When a request is focused on records concerning an identifiable individual
and the records are of a particularly sensitive nature, it may be necessary to go a
step further than withholding in full without segregation: It may be necessary to
follow special "Glomarization" procedures to protect the "targeted" individual's
privacy. (See the discussion of the use and origin of the "Glomar" response under
Exemption 1, In Camera Submissions, above.) If a request is formulated in such a
way that even acknowledgment of the existence of responsive records would cause
harm, then the subject's privacy can be protected only by refusing to confirm or deny
that responsive records exist. This special procedure is a widely accepted method
of protecting, for example, even the mere mention of a person in law enforcement
records. (284) (For a more detailed explanation of such privacy "Glomarization," see the
discussion under Exemption 7(C), below.)

This procedure is equally applicable to protect an individual's privacy interest
in sensitive non-law enforcement records. (285) For example, many agencies maintain
an employee assistance program for their employees, operating it on a confidential
basis in which privacy is assured. An agency would release neither a list of the
employees who participate in such a program nor any other information concerning
the program without redacting the names of participants. Logically, then, in
responding to a request for any employee assistance counseling records pertaining
to a named employee, the agency could protect the privacy of that individual only by
refusing to confirm or deny the existence of responsive records. (286)

Similarly, the "Glomarization" approach would be appropriate in responding to
a request targeting such matters as a particular citizen's welfare records or the
disciplinary records of an employee accused of relatively minor misconduct. (287)
Generally, this approach is proper whenever mere acknowledgment of the existence
of records would be tantamount to disclosing an actual record the disclosure of
which "would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy." (288) It
must be remembered, however, that this response is effective only so long as it is
given consistently for a distinct category of requests. (289) If it were to become known
that an agency gave a "Glomar" response only when records do exist and gave a "no
records" response otherwise, then the purpose of this special approach would be
defeated. (290)


    1. 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6) (2000).

    2. See Attorney General's Memorandum for Heads of All Federal Departments and
    Agencies Regarding the Freedom of Information Act (Oct. 12, 2001), reprinted in
    FOIA Post (posted 10/15/01) (placing particular emphasis on the importance of
    "preserving personal privacy" among the other interests that are protected by the
    FOIA's exemptions).

    3. See H.R. Rep. No. 93-1380, at 13 (1974); United States Dep't of Justice v. Reporters
    Comm. for Freedom of the Press
    , 489 U.S. 749, 771 (1989) (citing United States Dep't of
    Justice v. Julian
    , 486 U.S. 1, 13-14 (1988)); see also FOIA Update, Vol. X, No. 2, at 5
    (advising that, as a matter of sound administrative practice, "[a]n agency will not
    invoke an exemption to protect a requester from himself").

    4. 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6).

    5. 627 F.2d 392, 400 (D.C. Cir. 1980).

    6. 456 U.S. 595 (1982).

    7. Id. at 599-603 (citing H.R. Rep. No. 89-1497, at 11 (1966); S. Rep. No. 89-813, at 9
    (1965); S. Rep. No. 88-1219, at 14 (1964)).

    8. Id. at 601 (citing H.R. Rep. No. 89-1497, at 11 (1966)).

    9. Id. at 602; see, e.g., Lakin Law Firm, P.C. v. FTC, 352 F.3d 1122, 1123 (7th Cir. 2003)
    (finding that consumer complaints filed with the FTC "clearly fall[] within the
    exemption"), reh'g denied, No. 03-1689 (7th Cir. Feb. 11, 2004), petition for cert. filed,
    No. 03-1468 (U.S. Apr. 22, 2004); Sherman v. United States Dep't of the Army, 244 F.3d
    357, 361 (5th Cir. 2001) (recognizing that the "Supreme Court has interpreted
    exemption 6 'files' broadly to include any 'information which applies to a particular
    individual'" (quoting id.)); Strout v. United States Parole Comm'n, 40 F.3d 136, 139 (6th
    Cir. 1994) (protecting names and addresses of persons opposing parole of individual,
    without explicit discussion of threshold requirement); Hecht v. United States Agency
    for Int'l Dev.
    , No. 95-263, 1996 WL 33502232, at *12 (D. Del. Dec. 18, 1996) ("We do not
    think that Congress meant to limit Exemption 6 to a narrow class of files containing
    only a discrete kind of personal information."). But see City of Chicago v. United
    States Dep't of the Treasury
    , 287 F.3d 628, 635 (7th Cir. 2002) (agreeing with mistaken
    district court that personal information about firearms purchasers and possessors "is
    not 'information analogous to the type of sensitive information generally kept in a
    personnel or medical file, as would be protected by Exemption (6)'"), vacated, 537
    U.S. 1229 (2003) (taking exceptional vacatur action as explained in FOIA Post,
    "Supreme Court Vacates and Remands in ATF Database Case" (posted 3/25/03));
    Wood v. FBI, No. 3:02cv2058, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5525, at **48-49 (D. Conn. Mar. 31,
    2004) (misapplying Washington Post to rule that names of agency officials involved in
    decisionmaking process for personnel action do not qualify for Exemption 6
    protection); Darby v. United States Dep't of the Air Force, No. 00-0661, slip op. at 10-11 (D. Nev. Mar. 1, 2002) (rejecting redaction of names in IG report on mistaken basis
    that such documents "are not 'personnel or medical files[,]' nor are they 'similar' to
    such files"), aff'd on other grounds sub nom. Darby v. DOD, 74 Fed. Appx. 813 (9th Cir.
    2003); Providence Journal Co. v. United States Dep't of the Army, 781 F. Supp. 878, 883
    (D.R.I. 1991) (finding investigative report of criminal charges not to be "similar file," on
    unsound basis that it was "created in response to specific criminal allegations"
    rather than as "regularly compiled administrative record"), modified & aff'd on other
    grounds
    , 981 F.2d 552 (1st Cir. 1992); see also Judicial Watch, Inc. v. United States, 84
    Fed. Appx. 335, 340-41 (4th Cir. 2004) (contending wrongly that IRS employee names
    do not meet Exemption 6 threshold) (Luttig, J., dissenting), petition for cert. filed, 72
    U.S.L.W. 3644 (U.S. Apr. 5, 2004) (No. 03-1389).

    10. See, e.g., Arieff v. United States Dep't of the Navy, 712 F.2d 1462, 1467-68 (D.C.
    Cir. 1983) (finding no protection under Exemption 6 for list of drugs ordered for use
    by some members of large group); Na Iwi O Na Kupuna v. Dalton, 894 F. Supp. 1397,
    1413 (D. Haw. 1995) (same for records pertaining to large group of Native Hawaiian
    human remains) (reverse FOIA case); see also FOIA Update, Vol. III, No. 4, at 1
    (explaining that the Washington Post decision "revitalized the commonsense,
    practical approach of giving privacy considerations their full weight in the delicate
    balancing process"). But see Greenpeace USA, Inc. v. EPA, 735 F. Supp. 13, 14 (D.D.C.
    1990) (opining narrowly that information pertaining to an employee's compliance
    with agency regulations regarding outside employment "does not go to personal
    information . . . [e]ven in view of the broad interpretation [of Exemption 6] enunciated
    by the Supreme Court").

    11. N.Y. Times Co. v. NASA, 920 F.2d 1002, 1005 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (en banc); see
    Judicial Watch, Inc. v. USPS, No. 03-655, slip op. at 6 (D.D.C. Feb. 23, 2004) (assuming
    that audio portions of videotape are "similar files") (appeal pending); Hertzberg v.
    Veneman
    , 273 F. Supp. 2d 67, 85 n.11 (D.D.C. 2003) (finding that video tapes "contain
    identifiable audio and video images of individual residents," and concluding that
    they are "similar files").

    12. 920 F.2d at 1005.

    13. Id. at 1007-08.

    14. 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6).

    15. See Rose, 425 U.S. at 372; Fund for Constitutional Gov't v. Nat'l Archives &
    Records Serv.
    , 656 F.2d 856, 862 (D.C. Cir. 1981).

    16. See Ripskis v. HUD, 746 F.2d 1, 3 (D.C. Cir. 1984); Trentadue v. President's Council
    on Integrity & Efficiency
    , 2:03-CV-339, slip op. at 4 (D. Utah Apr. 26, 2004) (stating that
    agency made no showing of a privacy interest, so names of government employees
    should be released) (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)); Holland v. CIA, No. 91-1233, 1992 WL
    233820, at *16 (D.D.C. Aug. 31, 1992) (stating that information must be disclosed when
    there is no significant privacy interest, even if public interest is also de minimis).

    17. See Ripskis, 746 F.2d at 3; NARA v. Favish, 124 S. Ct. 1570, 1580 (2004) ("The term
    'unwarranted' requires us to balance the family's privacy interest against the public
    interest in disclosure.") (Exemption 7(C)), reh'g denied, No. 02-409, 2004 WL 108633
    (U.S. May 17, 2004).

    18. Nat'l Ass'n of Retired Fed. Employees v. Horner, 879 F.2d 873, 879 (D.C. Cir. 1989);
    see also Int'l Bhd. of Elec. Workers Local No. 5 v. HUD, 852 F.2d 87, 89 (3d Cir. 1988)
    (perceiving no public interest in disclosure of employees' social security numbers).

    19. See FOIA Update, Vol. X, No. 2, at 7 ("FOIA Counselor: Exemption 6 and
    Exemption 7(C): Step-by-Step Decisionmaking") (outlining mechanics of balancing
    process).

    20. 489 U.S. 749 (1989); see also FOIA Update, Vol. X, No. 2, at 3-6 ("OIP Guidance:
    Privacy Protection Under the Supreme Court's Reporters Committee Decision").

    21. 489 U.S. at 757.

    22. Id. at 762, 780.

    23. Id. at 764.

    24. Id. at 771; see also Favish v. NARA, 124 S. Ct. 1570, 1579-80 (2004) (reiterating
    that "[a]s a general rule, the withholding of information under FOIA cannot be
    predicated on the identity of the requester," but adding that this of course does not
    mean that a requester seeking to establish an overriding "public interest" in
    disclosure "need not offer a reason for requesting the information") (Exemption 7(C)),
    reh'g denied, No. 02-409, 2004 WL 108633 (U.S. May 17, 2004).

    25. 489 U.S. at 771.

    26. Id. at 772; see also Favish, 124 S. Ct. at 1582 (discussing "the nexus required
    between the requested documents and the purported public interest served by
    disclosure"); see also FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy' in Favish"
    (posted 4/9/04) (elaborating on "nexus requirement").

    27. 489 U.S. at 774.

    28. Id. at 775.

    29. Id. at 773; see also O'Kane v. United States Customs Serv., 169 F.3d 1308, 1310
    (11th Cir. 1999) (per curiam) (affirming that Electronic Freedom of Information Act
    Amendments of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-231, 110 Stat. 3048, do not "overrule" Reporters
    Committee
    definition of "public interest"); cf. Favish, 124 S. Ct. at 1580 (reiterating the
    Reporters Committee "public interest" standard, and characterizing it as "a
    structural necessity in a real democracy" that "should not be dismissed" -- despite
    persistent arguments by amici in the case that Reporters Committee had been
    "overruled" by the Electronic FOIA amendments since 1996).

    30. 489 U.S. at 776-80 & n.22; see also Favish, 124 S. Ct. at 1581 (stressing need for
    "stability" in privacy balancing, lest balancing be too "ad hoc").

    31. 489 U.S. at 780; see, e.g., Reed v. NLRB, 927 F.2d 1249, 1252 (D.C. Cir. 1991)
    ("Exemption 6 protects 'Excelsior' lists [names and addresses of employees eligible
    to vote in union representation elections] as a category."); SafeCard Servs. v. SEC,
    926 F.2d 1197, 1205-06 (D.C. Cir. 1991) (holding "categorically that, unless access to the
    names and addresses of private individuals appearing in files within the ambit of
    Exemption 7(C) is necessary in order to confirm or refute compelling evidence that
    the agency is engaged in illegal activity, such information is exempt from
    disclosure"); Johnson v. Comm'r, 239 F. Supp. 2d 1125, 1137 (W.D. Wash. 2002)
    (allowing categorical withholding of any identifying information about third parties
    and witnesses, as well as any information that they provided to IRS), aff'd on other
    grounds
    , 68 Fed. Appx. 839 (9th Cir. 2003) (Exemption 7(C)); Grove v. Dep't of Justice,
    802 F. Supp. 506, 511 (D.D.C. 1992) (Categorical balancing is appropriate for
    "information concerning criminal investigations of private citizens.") (Exemption 7(C)).
    But see Armstrong v. Executive Office of the President, 97 F.3d 575, 581-82 (D.C. Cir.
    1996) (finding that agency had not adequately established basis for categorical rule
    for withholding identities of low-level FBI agents); Nation Magazine v. United States
    Customs Serv.
    , 71 F.3d 885, 893-96 (D.C. Cir. 1995) (rejecting categorical issuance of
    "Glomar" response in case involving request for information concerning presidential
    candidate H. Ross Perot's offer "to help a federal agency fulfill its statutory duties to
    interdict drugs") (Exemption 7(C)); Konigsberg v. FBI, No. 02-2428, slip op. at 6 (D.D.C.
    May 27, 2003) (rejecting categorical withholding for records based on insufficient
    "eviden[tiary]" support); see also FOIA Update, Vol. XVII, No. 2, at 3-4 ("OIP
    Guidance: The Bifurcation Requirement for Privacy 'Glomarization'") (discussing need
    to bifurcate requests that ask for more than law enforcement records on a third
    party -- i.e., employing "Glomar" response for law enforcement records and treating
    non-law enforcement records under Exemption 6 in ordinary fashion).

    32. See FOIA Update, Vol. X, No. 2, at 7.

    33. See Schell v. HHS, 843 F.2d 933, 938 (6th Cir. 1988); Ripskis v. HUD, 746 F.2d 1, 3
    (D.C. Cir. 1984).

    34. 489 U.S. 749, 763 (1989).

    35. 124 S. Ct. 1570, 1576-77, 1579 (2004) ("[T]he concept of personal privacy . . . is not
    some limited or 'cramped notion' of that idea.") (Exemption 7(C)), reh'g denied, No.
    02-409, 2004 WL 108633 (U.S. May 17, 2004); see also FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules
    for 'Survivor Privacy' in Favish" (posted 4/9/04) (highlighting breadth of privacy
    protection principles in Supreme Court's decision).

    36. Id. at 767; see also DOD v. FLRA, 510 U.S. 487, 500 (1994) (finding privacy interest
    in federal employees' home addresses even though they "often are publicly available
    through sources such as telephone directories and voter registration lists"); FOIA
    Update
    , Vol. X, No. 2, at 4.

    37. See United States Dep't of State v. Wash. Post Co., 456 U.S. 595, 600 (1982); Nat'l
    Ass'n of Retired Fed. Employees v. Horner
    , 879 F.2d 873, 875 (D.C. Cir. 1989).

    38. Pub. Citizen Health Research Group v. United States Dep't of Labor, 591 F.2d
    808, 809 (D.C. Cir. 1978) (per curiam) (ruling that district court improperly refused to
    look beyond face of document at issue (i.e., to proffered in camera explanation of
    harm), which led it to fail to recognize underlying sensitivity).

    39. See Dep't of the Air Force v. Rose, 425 U.S. 352, 380 n.19 (1976) ("The legislative
    history is clear that Exemption 6 was directed at threats to privacy interests more
    palpable than mere possibilities."); Carter v. United States Dep't of Commerce, 830
    F.2d 388, 391 (D.C. Cir. 1987) (stating that "[w]ithholding information to prevent
    speculative harm" is contrary to the FOIA's pro-disclosure policy); Arieff v. United
    States Dep't of the Navy
    , 712 F.2d 1462, 1467-68 (D.C. Cir. 1983) (finding that
    Exemption 6 did not apply when there was only a "'mere possibility'" that the medical
    condition of a particular individual would be disclosed by releasing a list of
    pharmaceuticals supplied to a congressional physician (quoting Rose, 425 U.S. at 380
    n.19)).

    40. See, e.g., S. Utah Wilderness Alliance, Inc. v. Hodel, 680 F. Supp. 37, 39 (D.D.C.
    1988), vacated as moot, No. 88-5142 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 15, 1988).

    41. 712 F.2d at 1468.

    42. 879 F.2d at 878; see also Dayton Newspapers, Inc. v. Dep't of the Air Force, 107
    F. Supp. 2d 912, 919 (S.D. Ohio 1999) (declining to protect medical malpractice
    settlement figures based upon "mere possibility that factual information might be
    pieced together to supply 'missing link' and lead to personal identification" of
    claimants); Chi. Tribune Co. v. HHS, No. 95 C 3917, 1997 WL 1137641, at **10-11 (N.D.
    Ill. Feb. 26, 1997) (magistrate's recommendation) (finding "speculative at best"
    agency's argument that release of breast cancer patient data forms that identify
    patients only by nine -digit encoded "Study Numbers" could result in identification of
    individual patients), adopted (N.D. Ill. Mar. 28, 1997).

    43. 124 S. Ct. at 1577.

    44. Id.

    45. Id. at 1578.

    46. Id. at 1581 ("It must be remembered that once there is disclosure, the
    information belongs to the general public."); see also FOIA Post, "Supreme Court
    Rules for 'Survivor Privacy' in Favish" (posted 4/9/04) (emphasizing that agencies
    must consider full range of potential privacy invasions).

    47. NARFE, 879 F.2d at 878; see, e.g., Favish v. Office of Indep. Counsel, 217 F.3d
    1168, 1173 (9th Cir. 2000) (declaring that "it is not 'the production' of the records that
    would cause the harms, . . . but their exploitation by the media," a "probable
    consequence[] of the release" that is encompassed by "the statutory reference to
    what may 'reasonably be expected'"), rev'd on other grounds sub nom. NARA v.
    Favish
    , 124 S. Ct. 1570, 1578-79 (2004) (specifically taking into account "the
    consequences" of FOIA disclosure, including "public exploitation" of the records by
    either the requester or others), reh'g denied, No. 02-409, 2004 WL 108633 (U.S. May 17,
    2004); Hougan & Denton v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 90-1312, slip op. at 3
    (D.D.C. July 3, 1991) (concluding that solicitation by employers would invade privacy
    of participants in union's training program). But see United States Dep't of State v.
    Ray
    , 502 U.S. 164, 179-82 (1991) (Scalia, J., concurring in part) (suggesting that
    "derivative" privacy harm should not be relied upon in evaluating privacy interests, a
    position subsequently rejected sub silento by a unanimous Supreme Court in
    Favish); Dayton Newspapers, Inc. v. VA, 257 F. Supp. 2d 988, 1001-05 (S.D. Ohio 2003)
    (rejecting argument based upon agency's concern that names of judges and
    attorneys could be used to search through databases to identify claimants and
    thereby invade privacy of claimants).

    48. Hudson v. Dep't of the Army, No. 86-1114, 1987 WL 46755, at *3 (D.D.C. Jan. 29,
    1987) (protecting personal information on basis that disclosure could ultimately lead
    to physical harm), aff'd, 926 F.2d 1215 (D.C. Cir. 1991) (unpublished table decision);
    see also, e.g., Hemenway v. Hughes, 601 F. Supp. 1002, 1006-07 (D.D.C. 1985) (same).

    49. See, e.g., City of Chicago v. United States Dep't of Treasury, 287 F.3d 628, 636
    (7th Cir. 2002) (declaring, in a harsh view, that "[f]irearms manufacturers, dealers and
    purchasers are on notice that records of their transactions are not confidential"),
    vacated, 537 U.S. 1229 (2003) (taking exceptional vacatur action as explained in FOIA
    Post
    , "Supreme Court Vacates and Remands in ATF Database Case" (posted
    3/25/03)); Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Dep't of the Interior, 53 F. Supp. 2d 32, 37
    (D.D.C. 1999) (finding that commenters to proposed rulemaking could have no
    expectation of privacy when agency made clear that their identities would not be
    concealed); see also Memorandum for the President's Management Council 1 (Mar. 1,
    2004) (providing guidance for federal agencies in implementing "E-Government
    initiative" and attaching NARA template for "Addresses" section of regulatory
    preambles that includes new policy that "[a]ll comments received will be posted
    without change . . . including any personal information provided"), available at
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/ inforeg/memo_pmc_egov.pdf.

    50. See 5 C.F.R. § 293.311 (2004) (OPM regulation specifying that certain information
    contained in federal employee personnel files is available to public); see also FLRA v.
    United States Dep't of Commerce
    , 962 F.2d 1055, 1059-61 (D.C. Cir. 1992) (noting that
    performance awards "have traditionally been subject to disclosure"); Core v. United
    States Postal Serv.
    , 730 F.2d 946, 948 (4th Cir. 1984) (finding no substantial invasion of
    privacy in information identifying successful federal job applicants); Nat'l W. Life Ins.
    v. United States
    , 512 F. Supp. 454, 461 (N.D. Tex. 1980) (discerning no expectation of
    privacy in names and duty stations of Postal Service employees); see also FOIA
    Update
    , Vol. III, No. 4, at 3 (discussing extent to which privacy of federal employees
    can be protected).

    51. See Barvick v. Cisneros, 941 F. Supp. 1015, 1020 n.4 (D. Kan. 1996) (noting that the
    agency had "released information pertaining to the successful candidates'
    educational and professional qualifications, including letters of commendation and
    awards, as well as their prior work history, including federal positions, grades,
    salaries, and duty stations").

    52. See Department of Defense Freedom of Information Act Program Regulation,
    DOD 5400.7-R, 37-39 (Sept. 1998); see also Memorandum from Department of Defense
    Directorate for Freedom of Information and Security Review 1 (Oct. 26, 1999)
    (applying same analysis as in DOD 5400.7-R to electronic mail addresses, and
    authorizing withholding only for "personnel assigned to units that are sensitive,
    routinely deployable or stationed in foreign territories"); cf. 10 U.S.C. § 130b (2000)
    (Department of Defense-wide provision); Department of Defense Freedom of
    Information Act Program Regulations, 32 C.F.R. § 286.12(f)(2)(ii) (2003) ("Names and
    duty addresses (postal and/or e-mail) . . . for personnel assigned to units that are
    sensitive, routinely deployable, or stationed in foreign territories are withholdable
    under [Exemption 6].").

    53. See Army Reg. 340-21, ¶ 3-3a(1), b(1), 5 July 1985; see also Army Reg. 25-55, ¶ 3-200, No. 6(b), 1 Nov. 1997 (providing for withholding of names and duty addresses of
    military personnel assigned to units that are "sensitive, routinely deployable or
    stationed in foreign territories").

    54. Department of Defense Director for Administration and Management
    Memorandum 1-2 (Nov. 9, 2001), available at
    www.defenselink.mil/pubs/foi/withhold.pdf
    (noting that certain personnel's names can be released due to "the
    nature of their positions and duties," including public affairs officers and flag
    officers).

    55. See, e.g., Avondale Indus. v. NLRB, 90 F.3d 955, 961 (5th Cir. 1996) (finding that
    names and addresses of voters in union election were already disclosed in
    voluminous public record and that there was no showing that public record was
    compiled in such a way as to effectively obscure that information); Detroit Free
    Press, Inc. v. Dep't of Justice
    , 73 F.3d 93, 96-97 (6th Cir. 1996) (finding -- in singular
    decision not followed elsewhere and now called into question by Supreme Court's
    decision in Favish, 124 S. Ct. at 1578-79 -- no privacy rights in mug shots of
    defendants in ongoing criminal proceedings when names are public and defendants
    have appeared in open court) (Exemption 7(C)); Billington v. United States Dep't of
    Justice
    , 245 F. Supp. 2d 79, 85-86 (D.D.C. 2003) (finding that information about two
    persons contained in a reporter's notes given to the State Department was not
    protected by Exemption 6, because these persons "knew that they were speaking to
    a reporter on the record and therefore could not expect to keep private the
    substance of the interview"); Blanton v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 93-2398,
    1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21444, at **11-12 (W.D. Tenn. July 14, 1994) ("The fact of
    [requester's former counsel's] representation is a matter of public record . . . .
    Whether an individual possesses a valid license to practice law is also a matter of
    public record and cannot be protected by any privacy interest."); Nat'l W. Life Ins.,
    512 F. Supp. at 461 (noting that names and duty stations of most federal employees
    are routinely published and available through Government Printing Office); cf. Doe v.
    FBI
    , 218 F.R.D. 256, 259-60 (D. Colo. 2003) (refusing to allow plaintiff to proceed with a
    case under a pseudonym or under seal, on the basis that his particular reputational
    interest does not "outweigh the public's interest in an open court system"). But see
    Times Picayune Publ'g Corp. v. United States Dep't of Justice, 37 F. Supp. 2d 472, 477-82 (E.D. La. 1999) (protecting the mug shot of a prominent individual despite wide
    publicity prior to his guilty plea and observing that a "mug shot is more than just
    another photograph of a person") (Exemption 7(C)); cf. Lakin Law Firm, P.C. v. FTC,
    352 F.3d 1122, 1124-25 (7th Cir. 2003) (explaining that posting complaint advisory on
    Web site that warned consumers that "information provided may be subject to
    release under the FOIA" does not waive the privacy interests of consumer
    complainants) (emphasis added), reh'g denied, 03-1689 (7th Cir.), petition for cert.
    filed
    , No. 03-1468 (U.S. Apr. 22, 2004).

    56. See Nation Magazine v. United States Customs Serv., 71 F.3d 885, 896 (D.C. Cir.
    1995) (finding no privacy interest in documents concerning presidential candidate H.
    Ross Perot's offer to aid federal government in drug interdiction, a subject about
    which Perot had made several public statements); see also Kimberlin v. Dep't of
    Justice
    , 139 F.3d 944, 949 (D.C. Cir 1998) (noting that government lawyer investigated
    by Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility diminished his
    privacy interest by acknowledging existence of investigation but that he still retains
    privacy interest in nondisclosure of any details of investigation) (Exemption 7(C)).

    57. Reporters Comm., 489 U.S. at 780; see also Wash. Post, 456 U.S. at 603 n.5;
    Fiduccia v. United States Dep't of Justice, 185 F.3d 1035, 1046-47 (9th Cir. 1999)
    (protecting information about two individuals whose homes were searched ten
    years previously despite publicity at that time and fact that some information might
    be public in various courthouses) (Exemption 7(C)); Abraham & Rose, P.L.C. v. United
    States
    , 138 F.3d 1075, 1083 (6th Cir. 1998) (noting that there may be privacy interest in
    personal information even if "available on publicly recorded filings"); Dayton
    Newspapers, Inc.
    , 257 F. Supp. 2d at 1010 (reasoning that although modern search
    engines might make even otherwise obscure personal information more widely
    available, that "does not mean that [individuals] have lost all traits of privacy" in that
    information); Linn v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 92-1406, 1995 WL 417810, at
    *31 (D.D.C. June 6, 1995) (declaring that even if "some of the names at issue were at
    one time released to the general public, individuals are entitled to maintaining the
    'practical obscurity' of personal information that is developed through the passage of
    time").

    58. See Isley v. Executive Office for United States Attorneys, No. 98-5098, 1999 WL
    1021934, at *4 (D.C. Cir. Oct. 21, 1999) (finding no evidence that previously disclosed
    documents "continue to be 'freely available' in any 'permanent public record'")
    (Exemption 7(C)); Edmonds v. FBI, 272 F. Supp. 2d 35, 53 (D.D.C. 2003) (finding that
    media identification of persons mentioned in a law enforcement file "does not lessen
    their privacy interests or 'defeat the exemption,' for prior disclosure of personal
    information does not eliminate an individual's privacy interest in avoiding
    subsequent disclosure by the government") (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)) (appeal
    pending); Mueller v. United States Dep't of the Air Force, 63 F. Supp. 2d 738, 743 (E.D.
    Va. 1999) (stating that existence of publicity surrounding events does not eliminate
    privacy interest) (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)); Chin v. United States Dep't of the Air Force,
    No. 97-2176, slip op. at 5 (W.D. La. June 24, 1999) (concluding that although "some of
    the events are known to certain members of the public . . . this fact is insufficient to
    place this record for dissemination into the public domain"), aff'd per curiam, No. 99-31237 (5th Cir. June 15, 2000); cf. Schiffer v. FBI, 78 F.3d 1405, 1411 (9th Cir. 1996)
    (treating requester's personal knowledge as irrelevant in assessing privacy
    interests).

    59. 124 S. Ct. at 1580; see also FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy'
    in Favish" (posted 4/9/04) (advising that "the Favish decision illustrates that the
    occurrence of an event in a public place is no disqualifying factor for privacy
    protection under the FOIA").

    60. Baltimore Sun Co. v. United States Customs Serv., No. 97-1991, slip op. at 5 (D.
    Md. Nov. 21, 1997) (Exemption 7(C)).

    61. See FOIA Update, Vol. VI, No. 1, at 6; see also Holland v. CIA, No. 91-1233, 1992
    WL 233829, at **15-16 (D.D.C. Aug. 31, 1992) (holding that researcher who sought
    assistance of presidential advisor in obtaining CIA files he had requested is
    comparable to FOIA requester whose identity is not protected by Exemption 6);
    Martinez v. FBI, No. 82-1547, slip op. at 7 (D.D.C. Dec. 19, 1985) (denying protection for
    identities of news reporters seeking information concerning criminal investigation)
    (Exemption 7(C)).

    62. See FOIA Update, Vol. VI, No. 1, at 6.

    63. 5 U.S.C. § 552a (2000).

    64. See FOIA Update, Vol. VI, No. 1, at 6.

    65. See, e.g., Lakin Law Firm, 352 F.3d at 1125 (finding that the "core purposes" of
    the FOIA would not be served by the release of the names and addresses of
    persons who complained to the FTC about "cramming"); Strout v. United States
    Parole Comm'n
    , 40 F.3d 136, 139 (6th Cir. 1994) (articulating public policy against
    disclosure of names and addresses of people who write Parole Commission
    opposing convict's parole); Save Our Springs Alliance v. Babbitt, No. A-97-CA-259,
    slip op. at 7-8 (W.D. Tex. Nov. 19, 1997) (concluding that release of home addresses
    and telephone numbers of government correspondents would not shed light on
    whether agency improperly considered writers' comments); Voinche v. FBI, 940 F.
    Supp. 323, 329-30 (D.D.C. 1996) ("There is no reason to believe that the public will
    obtain a better understanding of the workings of various agencies by learning the
    identities of . . . private citizens who wrote to government officials . . . ."), aff'd per
    curiam
    , No. 96-5304, 1997 WL 411685 (D.C. Cir. June 19, 1997); Wilson v. Dep't of
    Justice
    , No. 87-2415, 1991 WL 111457, at *6 (D.D.C. June 14, 1991) (protecting identity
    of individual who wrote to Senator about matter of public interest); Holy Spirit Ass'n
    v. United States Dep't of State
    , 526 F. Supp. 1022, 1032-34 (S.D.N.Y. 1981) (finding that
    "strong public interest in encouraging citizens to communicate their concerns
    regarding their communities" is fostered by protecting identities of writers); see also
    Holy Spirit Ass'n v. FBI, 683 F.2d 562, 564 (D.C. Cir. 1982) (concurring with the
    nondisclosure of correspondence because communications from citizens to their
    government "will frequently contain information of an intensely personal sort")
    (MacKinnon, J., concurring) (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)); cf. Ortiz v. HHS, 874 F. Supp. 570,
    573-75 (S.D.N.Y.) (protecting letter to HHS alleging social security fraud) (Exemptions
    7(C) and 7(D)), aff'd on Exemption 7(D) grounds, 70 F.3d 729 (2d Cir. 1995). But see
    Memorandum for the President's Management Council 1 (Mar. 1, 2004) (providing
    guidance for federal agencies in implementing "E-Government initiative," and
    attaching NARA template for "Addresses" section of new regulatory preambles that
    includes new policy that "[a]ll comments received will be posted without change . . .
    including any personal information provided"), available at
    www.whitehouse.gov/omb/inforeg/memo_pmc_egov.pdf.

    66. Judicial Watch, Inc. v. United States, 84 Fed. Appx. 335, 337 (4th Cir. 2004),
    petition for cert. filed, 72 U.S.L.W. 3644 (U.S. Apr. 5, 2004) (No. 03-1389) (Exemption
    7(C)).

    67. Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Rossotti, 285 F. Supp. 2d 17, 28 (D.D.C. 2003) (Exemption
    7(C)).

    68. See Landmark Legal Found. v. IRS, 87 F. Supp. 2d 21, 27-28 (D.D.C. 2000)
    (granting Exemption 3 protection under 26 U.S.C. § 6103, but declining to grant
    Exemption 6 protection to citizens who wrote to IRS to express opinions or provide
    information; noting that "IRS has suggested no reason why existing laws are
    insufficient to deter any criminal or tortious conduct targeted at persons who would be identified"), aff'd on Exemption 3 grounds,
    267 F.3d 1132 (D.C. Cir. 2001); Judicial Watch v. United States Dep't of Justice, 102 F.
    Supp. 2d 6, 17-18 (D.D.C. 2000) (allowing deletion of home addresses and telephone
    numbers but ordering release of identities of individuals who wrote to Attorney
    General about campaign finance or Independent Counsel issues), reconsideration
    denied temporarily pending in camera review
    , No. 97-CV-2869 (D.D.C. Aug. 17, 2000);
    Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Dep't of the Interior, 53 F. Supp. 2d 32, 36-37 (D.D.C.
    1999) (concluding that the agency "made it abundantly clear in its notice that the
    individuals submitting comments to its rulemaking would not have their identities
    concealed" when the rulemaking notice "specified that '[t]he complete file for this
    proposed rule is available for inspection'"); Cardona v. INS, No. 93-3912, 1995 WL
    68747, at *3 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 15, 1995) (finding only "de minimis invasion of privacy" in
    release of name and address of individual who wrote letter to INS complaining
    about private agency that offered assistance to immigrants).

    69. See, e.g., Sims v. CIA, 642 F.2d 562, 572 n.47 (D.C. Cir. 1980); Nat'l Parks &
    Conservation Ass'n v. Kleppe
    , 547 F.2d 673, 685 n.44 (D.C. Cir. 1976); Ivanhoe Citrus
    Ass'n v. Handley
    , 612 F. Supp. 1560, 1567 (D.D.C. 1985); see also Iowa Citizens for
    Cmty. Improvement v. USDA
    , No. 4-02-CV-10114, 2002 WL 32078275, at *5 n.10 (S.D.
    Iowa Aug. 13, 2002) (noting in dicta that "[i]t is not clear to this Court that a trust, any
    more than a corporation, has a privacy interest worthy of protection under the
    FOIA").

    70. Providence Journal Co. v. FBI, 460 F. Supp. 778, 785 (D.R.I. 1978), rev'd on other
    grounds
    , 602 F.2d 1010 (1st Cir. 1979); see also Beard v. Espy, No. 94-16748, 1995 WL
    792071, at *1 (9th Cir. Dec. 11, 1995); Nat'l Parks, 547 F.2d at 685-86; Okla. Publ'g Co. v.
    HUD
    , No. CIV-87-1935-P, 1988 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18643, at **4-5 (W.D. Okla. June 17,
    1988); FOIA Update, Vol. III, No. 4, at 5.

    71. See, e.g., Or. Natural Desert Ass'n v. United States Dep't of the Interior, 24 F.
    Supp. 2d 1088, 1089 (D. Or. 1998) (concluding that cattle owners who violated federal
    grazing laws have "diminished expectation of privacy" in their names when such
    information relates to commercial interests); Wash. Post Co. v. USDA, 943 F. Supp.
    31, 34-36 (D.D.C. Oct. 18, 1996) (finding that farmers who received subsidies under
    cotton price support program have only minimal privacy interests in home addresses
    from which they also operate businesses), appeal dismissed voluntarily, No. 96-5373
    (D.C. Cir. May 19, 1997); Ackerson & Bishop Chartered v. USDA, No. 92-1068, slip op. at
    1 (D.D.C. July 15, 1992) (concluding that commercial mushroom growers operating
    under individual names have no expectation of privacy); Lawyers Comm. for Human
    Rights v. INS
    , 721 F. Supp. 552, 569 (S.D.N.Y. 1989) (stating that "disclosure [of names
    of State Department's officers and staff members involved in highly publicized case]
    merely establishes State [Department] employees' professional relationships or
    associates these employees with agency business"). But see Campaign for Family
    Farms v. Glickman
    , 200 F.3d 1180, 1187-89 (8th Cir. 2000) (protecting identities of pork
    producers who signed petition calling for abolishment of mandatory contributions to
    fund for marketing and advertising pork, because release would reveal position on
    referendum and "would vitiate petitioners' privacy interest in secret ballot") (reverse
    FOIA suit); Forest Guardians v. United States Forest Serv., No. 99-0615, slip op. at 39-45 (D.N.M. Jan. 29, 2001) (finding "'substantial' privacy interest" in personal loan
    information contained on escrow waiver forms that record ranchers' use of federal
    grazing permits as loan collateral) (reverse FOIA suit), appeal dismissed voluntarily,
    No. 01-2296 (10th Cir. Nov. 21, 2001); Hill v. USDA, 77 F. Supp. 2d 6, 8 (D.D.C. 1999)
    (finding privacy interest in records of business transactions between borrowers and
    partly owned family corporation relating to loans made by Farmers Home
    Administration to individual borrowers), summary affirmance granted, No. 99-5365,
    2000 WL 520724, at *1 (D.C. Cir. Mar. 7, 2000).

    72. 230 F. Supp. 2d 739, 748-51 (W.D. Tex. 2002) (appeal pending).

    73. 124 S. Ct. at 1579; see also FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy'
    in Favish" (posted 4/9/04) (highlighting full implications of Supreme Court's decision).

    74. 124 S. Ct. at 1574.

    75. Id. at 1574-76; see FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Decides to Hear 'Survivor Privacy'
    Case" (posted 5/13/03; supplemented 10/10/03) (chronicling case's history).

    76. 124 S. Ct. at 1576.

    77. Id.

    78. Id. at 1576-77.

    79. Id. at 1578.

    80. Id.

    81. Id. at 1579 (citing Attorney General's Memorandum on the Public Information
    Section of the Administrative Procedure Act (FOIA)
    36 (June 1967) and Attorney
    General's Memorandum on the 1974 Amendments to the Freedom of Information Act

    9-10 (Feb. 1975)); see also FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy' in
    Favish" (posted 4/9/04) (noting that Supreme Court "dr[ew] additional support from
    two successive Attorney General memoranda on FOIA that specifically extended
    privacy protection to 'family members'").

    82. See, e.g., Hale v. United States Dep't of Justice, 973 F.2d 894, 902 (10th Cir. 1992)
    (perceiving "no public interest in photographs of the deceased victim, let alone one
    that would outweigh the personal privacy interests of the victim's family")
    (Exemption 7(C)), cert. granted, vacated & remanded on other grounds, 509 U.S. 918
    (1993); Bowen v. FDA, 925 F.2d 1225, 1228 (9th Cir. 1991) (affirming nondisclosure of
    autopsy reports of individuals killed by cyanide-contaminated products); Badhwar v.
    United States Dep't of the Air Force
    , 829 F.2d 182, 186 (D.C. Cir. 1987) (noting that
    some autopsy reports might "shock the sensibilities of surviving kin"); Marzen v. HHS,
    825 F.2d 1148, 1154 (7th Cir. 1987) (holding deceased infant's medical records exempt
    because their release "would almost certainly cause . . . parents more anguish"); Isley
    v. Executive Office for United States Attorneys
    , No. 96-0123, slip op. at 3-4 (D.D.C.
    Feb. 25, 1998) (approving the withholding of "medical records, autopsy reports and
    inmate injury reports pertaining to a murder victim as a way of protecting surviving
    family members"), aff'd on other grounds, 203 F.3d 52 (D.C. Cir. 1999) (unpublished
    table decision); Katz v. NARA, 862 F. Supp. 476, 483-86 (D.D.C. 1994) (holding that
    Kennedy family's privacy interests would be invaded by disclosure of "graphic and
    explicit" JFK autopsy photographs), aff'd on other grounds, 68 F.3d 1438 (D.C. Cir.
    1995); N.Y. Times Co. v. NASA, 782 F. Supp. 628, 631-32 (D.D.C. 1991) (withholding
    audiotape of voices of Space Shuttle Challenger astronauts recorded immediately
    before their deaths, to protect family members from pain of hearing final words of
    loved ones). But see Outlaw v. United States Dep't of the Army, 815 F. Supp. 505, 506
    (D.D.C. 1993) (ordering disclosure in absence of evidence of existence of any survivor
    whose privacy would be invaded by release of murder-scene photographs of man
    murdered twenty-five years earlier); Journal-Gazette Co. v. United States Dep't of the
    Army
    , No. F89-147, slip op. at 8-9 (N.D. Ind. Jan. 8, 1990) (holding that because
    autopsy report of Air National Guard pilot killed in training exercise contained
    "concise medical descriptions of the cause of death," not "graphic, morbid
    descriptions," survivors' minimal privacy interest was outweighed by public interest);
    see also FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy' in Favish" (posted
    4/9/04) (cautioning that "agencies applying this important principle must be mindful
    that it logically requires reasonable certainty that a survivor actually exists to merit
    such protection"); cf. Kyle v. United States, No. 80-1038E, 1987 WL 13874, at **1-2
    (W.D.N.Y. July 16, 1987) (ordering disclosure of medical records of all servicemen
    involved in accident alike, including two who died and one who was still alive);
    Rabbitt v. Dep't of the Air Force, 401 F. Supp. 1206, 1210 (S.D.N.Y. 1974) (ordering
    disclosure of medical records of two Air Force personnel involved in accident alike,
    including one who died and one who was still alive).

    83. 124 S. Ct. at 1580 (quoting N.Y. Times Co., 782 F. Supp. at 631-32); see also
    Cowles Publ'g Co. v. United States, No. 90-349, slip op. at 6-7 (E.D. Wash. Dec. 20,
    1990) (withholding identities of individuals who became ill or died from radiation
    exposure, in order to protect living victims and family members of deceased persons
    from intrusive contacts and inquiries); FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor
    Privacy' in Favish" (posted 4/9/04) (discussing protection of records of Dr. Martin
    Luther King, Jr. assassination investigation); FOIA Update, Vol. III, No. 4, at 5
    (advising more than two decades ago that while privacy rights cannot be inherited,
    sensitive personal information pertaining to deceased persons may threaten privacy
    interests of surviving family members).

    84. 124 S. Ct. at 1577; see also FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy'
    in Favish" (posted 4/9/04) (advising that "the Court's 'survivor privacy' analysis in
    Favish eschewed" any such decedent-based approach).

    85. 124 S. Ct. at 1577.

    86. Id.

    87. See, e.g., Na Iwi O Na Kupuna v. Dalton, 894 F. Supp. 1397, 1413 (D. Haw. 1995)
    (reverse FOIA suit); Tigar & Buffone v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 80-2382, slip
    op. at 9-10 (D.D.C. Sept. 30, 1983) (Exemption 7(C)); Diamond v. FBI, 532 F. Supp. 216,
    227 (S.D.N.Y. 1981), aff'd on other grounds, 707 F.2d 75 (2d Cir. 1983); see also FOIA
    Post
    , "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy' in Favish" (posted 4/9/04); FOIA Post,
    "Supreme Court Decides to Hear 'Survivor Privacy' Case" (posted 5/13/03;
    supplemented 10/10/03); FOIA Update, Vol. III, No. 4, at 5 (advising that "[a]fter
    death, a person no longer possesses privacy rights . . . [and that] privacy rights
    cannot be inherited by one heirs[, though] the disclosure of particularly sensitive
    personal information pertaining to a deceased person may well threaten the privacy
    interests of surviving family members or other close associates"); cf. United States v.
    Schlette
    , 842 F.2d 1574, 1581 (9th Cir.) (ordering disclosure of presentence report of
    deceased person pursuant to Rule 32(c) of Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure),
    amended, 854 F.2d 359 (9th Cir. 1988). But see Kiraly v. FBI, 728 F.2d 273, 277-78 (6th
    Cir. 1984) (adopting the district court's rationale, "which held: '. . . that the right to
    recovery for invasion of privacy lapses upon the person's death does not mean that
    the government must disclose inherently private information as soon as the
    individual dies'") (Exemption 7(C)).

    88. FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Decides to Hear 'Survivor Privacy' Case" (posted
    5/13/03; supplemented 10/10/03) (discussing line of D.C. Circuit cases that suggested
    protecting post-mortem "reputational" interests).

    89. See 124 S. Ct. at 1577 (distinguishing "survivor privacy" basis from any
    "reputation[al]" basis for privacy protection); see also FOIA Post, "Supreme Court
    Rules for 'Survivor Privacy' in Favish" (posted 4/9/04) (advising that "the proper
    application of [the 'survivor privacy'] principle involves protection of the interests of a
    decedent's survivors themselves").

    90. Fund for Constitutional Gov't v. Nat'l Archives & Records Serv., 656 F.2d 856, 865
    (D.C. Cir. 1981) (emphasis added) (Exemption 7(C)); see Times Picayune, 37 F. Supp.
    2d at 478-79 (noting that prominence of person "may well exacerbate the privacy
    intrusions") (Exemption 7(C)); cf. Wichlacz v. United States Dep't of Interior, 938 F.
    Supp. 325, 333-34 (E.D. Va. 1996) (recognizing that intense media scrutiny of death of
    Deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster enhances privacy interests of
    individuals connected even remotely with investigation), aff'd, 114 F.3d 1178 (4th Cir.
    1997) (unpublished table decision).

    91. Fund, 656 F.2d at 866; see also Nation Magazine v. Dep't of State, No. 92-2303,
    slip op. at 20-24 & n.15 (D.D.C. Aug. 18, 1995) (holding that public interest in
    information about presidential candidate H. Ross Perot's dealings with government
    or whether he ever was investigated by FBI is not kind of public interest recognized
    by FOIA); Wilson, 1991 WL 111457, at *6 (stating that even well-known Iran-Contra
    figure Richard Secord had privacy interest in fact that he was investigated; such
    investigation would reveal "little about 'what government is up to'"); cf. In re Espy,
    259 F.3d 725, 729-30 (D.C. Cir. 2001) (granting motion, pursuant to Independent
    Counsel Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 594(h) (2000), to release final report concerning former
    Secretary of Agriculture). But see Wilson v. Dep't of Justice, No. 87-2415, 1991 WL
    120052, at *4 (D.D.C. June 18, 1991) (ordering further declarations to determine
    whether any of the individuals investigated "are 'public figures' like the plaintiff
    whose involvement in Government operations would be of interest to the public").

    92. See Fund, 656 F.2d at 865; Billington v. Dep't of Justice, 11 F. Supp. 2d 45, 62
    (D.D.C. 1998) (finding that although public officials in some circumstances have
    diminished privacy, residual privacy interests militate against disclosure of nonpublic
    details), aff'd in pertinent part, 233 F.3d 581 (D.C. Cir. 2000); cf. Strassman v. United
    States Dep't of Justice
    , 792 F.2d 1267, 1268 (4th Cir. 1986) (protecting privacy interest
    of governor alleged to have invoked Fifth Amendment before grand jury) (Exemption
    7(C)); McNamera v. United States Dep't of Justice, 974 F. Supp. 946, 959 (W.D. Tex.
    Aug. 12, 1997) (stating that "[s]imply because an individual was once a public official
    does not mean that he retains that status throughout his life," and holding that three
    years after a disgraced sheriff resigned he was "a private, not a public figure")
    (Exemption 7(C)); Steinberg v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 93-2409, slip op. at
    11 (D.D.C. July 14, 1997) ("[E]ven widespread knowledge about a person's business
    cannot serve to diminish his or her privacy interests in matters that are truly
    personal.") (Exemption 7(C)); see also FOIA Update, Vol. III, No. 4, at 5.

    93. 124 S. Ct. at 1580; see also FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy'
    in Favish" (posted 4/9/04) (advising that the "fact that [Mr. Foster's] status did not at
    all 'detract' from those [privacy] interests in the Court's estimation means that they
    stood entirely undiminished despite it" and that "[i]n the future, other potential
    beneficiaries of the FOIA's privacy exemptions should be no less entitled to such
    treatment and commensurate privacy protection").

    94. See Nation Magazine,
    71 F.3d at 894 & n.9 ("Although candidacy for federal
    office may diminish an individual's right to
    privacy . . . it does not eliminate
    it . . . .");
    Hunt v. United States Marine Corps, 935 F. Supp. 46, 54 (D.D.C. 1996) (finding that
    senatorial candidate Oliver North has unquestionable privacy interest in his military
    service personnel records and medical records); Nation Magazine, No. 92-2303, slip
    op. at 20-23 (D.D.C. Aug. 18, 1995) (upholding refusal to confirm or deny existence of
    investigative records pertaining to presidential candidate H. Ross Perot); cf. Iowa
    Citizens for Cmty. Improvement
    , 256 F. Supp. at 954 (ruling that nominee for position
    of Undersecretary of Agriculture for Rural Development does not forfeit all privacy
    rights).

    95. See Shaw v. United States Dep't of State, 559 F. Supp. 1053, 1067 (D.D.C. 1983);
    see also United States Dep't of State v. Ray, 502 U.S. 164 (1991) (applying traditional
    analysis of privacy interests under FOIA to Haitian nationals); Ctr. for Nat'l Sec.
    Studies v. United States Dep't of Justice
    , 215 F. Supp. 2d 94, 105-06 (D.D.C. 2002)
    (recognizing, without discussion, the privacy rights of post-9/11 detainees who were
    unlawfully in the United States) (Exemption 7(C)), aff'd on other grounds, 331 F.3d 918
    (D.C. Cir. 2003), cert. denied, 124 S. Ct. 1041 (2004); Schiller v. INS, 205 F. Supp. 2d 648,
    662 (W.D. Tex. 2002) (finding that "[a]liens [and] their families . . . have a strong
    privacy interest in nondisclosure of their names, addresses, and other information
    which could lead to revelation of their identities") (Exemption 7(C)); Judicial Watch,
    Inc. v. Reno
    , No. 00-0723, 2001 WL 1902811, at *8 (D.D.C. Mar. 30, 2001) (protecting
    asylum application filed on behalf of Cuban emigré Elian Gonzalez); Hemenway, 601
    F. Supp. at 1005-07 (according Exemption 6 protection to citizenship information
    regarding news correspondents accredited to attend State Department press
    briefings); FOIA Update, Vol. VI, No. 3, at 5.

    96. See Hill, 77 F. Supp. 2d at 8; see also Lakin Law Firm, 352 F.3d at 1124-25
    (explaining that a warning on Federal Trade Commission Web site that "information
    provided may be subject to release under the FOIA" cannot be construed as a
    waiver by consumers) (emphasis added).

    97. Hill, 77 F. Supp. 2d at 8 (rejecting argument that borrowers of Farmers Home
    Administration loans waived their privacy interests by signing loan-application
    documents that warned that information supplied could be subject to release to
    third parties).

    98. See Campaign for Family Farms, 200 F.3d at 1188.

    99. Id.

    100. Sherman v. United States Dep't of the Army, 244 F.3d 357, 363-64 (5th Cir. 2001)
    (protecting social security numbers of soldiers even though Army publicly disclosed
    SSNs in some circumstances, because individuals rather than government hold
    privacy interest in that information); see also Reporters Comm., 489 U.S. at 763-65
    (emphasizing that privacy interest belongs to individual, not agency holding
    information pertaining to individual).

    101. Id.; accord Attorney General's Memorandum for Heads of All Federal
    Departments and Agencies Regarding the Freedom of Information Act (Oct. 12,
    2001), reprinted in FOIA Post (posted 10/15/01) (emphasizing importance of
    "preserving personal privacy" under FOIA); FOIA Post, "New Attorney General FOIA
    Memorandum Issued" (posted 10/15/01) (noting that the Ashcroft FOIA
    Memorandum "places particular emphasis on the right to privacy among the other
    interests that are protected by the FOIA's exemptions").

    102. See Isley, 1999 WL 1021934, at *4; Kiraly, 728 F.2d at 279; Brown v. FBI, 658 F.2d
    71, 75 (2d Cir. 1981); Coleman v. FBI, 13 F. Supp. 2d 75, 80 (D.D.C. 1998); cf. Irons v. FBI,
    880 F.2d 1446, 1454 (1st Cir. 1989) (en banc) (holding that disclosure of any source
    information beyond that actually testified to by confidential source is not required)
    (Exemption 7(D)).

    103. See Times Picayune, 37 F. Supp. 2d at 477-78 (refusing to order release of a mug
    shot, which with its "unflattering facial expressions" and "stigmatizing effect [that]
    can last well beyond the actual criminal proceedings . . . preserves, in its unique and
    visually powerful way, the subject individual's brush with the law for posterity"); see
    also
    McNamera, 974 F. Supp. at 959 (holding that convict's privacy rights are
    diminished only with respect to information made public during criminal
    proceedings against him) (Exemption 7(C)).

    104. See McCutchen v. HHS, 30 F.3d 183, 189 (D.C. Cir. 1994) ("The complainants
    [alleging scientific misconduct] have a strong privacy interest in remaining
    anonymous because, as 'whistle-blowers,' they might face retaliation if their
    identities were revealed.") (Exemption 7(C)); Holy Spirit, 683 F.2d at 564-65
    (concurring opinion) (recognizing that writers of letters to authorities describing
    "'bizarre' and possibly illegal activities . . . could reasonably have feared reprisals
    against themselves or their family members") (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)); Billington v.
    United States Dep't of Justice
    , 301 F. Supp. 2d 15, 19-21 (D.D.C. 2004) (protecting
    identity of reporter who furnished interview notes to State Department, partly based
    upon existence of "substantial" fear of reprisal by Lyndon LaRouche followers);
    McQueen v. United States, 264 F. Supp. 2d 502, 519-20 (S.D. Tex. 2003) (protecting
    names and identifying information of grand jury witnesses and other sources when
    suspect had made previous threats against witnesses) (Exemption 7(C)) (appeal
    pending); Givner v. Executive Office for United States Attorneys, No. 99-3454, slip op.
    at 12-13 (D.D.C. Mar. 1, 2001) (finding withholding of juror and witness information
    "particularly appropriate" when "codefendents are either still fugitives or seeking a
    new trial"); Summers v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 87-3168, slip op. at 4-15
    (D.D.C. Apr. 19, 2000) (protecting identities of individuals who provided information
    to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover concerning well-known people "because persons
    who make allegations against public figures are often subject to public scrutiny");
    Ortiz, 874 F. Supp. at 573-75 (noting that probable close relationship between
    plaintiff and author of letter about her to HHS was likely to lead to retaliation);
    Cappabianca v. Comm'r, United States Customs Serv., 847 F. Supp. 1558, 1564-65
    (M.D. Fla. 1994) (finding that the "opportunity for harassment or embarrassment is
    very strong" in a case involving the investigation of "allegations of harassment and
    retaliation for cooperation in a prior investigation") (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)); Manna v.
    United States Dep't of Justice
    , 815 F. Supp. 798, 809 (D.N.J. 1993) (concluding that
    because La Cosa Nostra "is so violent and retaliatory, the names of interviewees,
    informants, witnesses, victims and law enforcement personnel must be
    safeguarded") (Exemption 7(C)), aff'd, 51 F.3d 1158 (3d Cir. 1995).

    105. See, e.g., Perlman v. United States Dep't of Justice, 312 F.3d 100, 106 (2d Cir.
    2002) (concluding that "[t]he public's interest in learning the identities of witnesses
    and other third parties is minimal because the information tells little or nothing
    about either the administration of the INS program or the Inspector General's
    conduct of its investigation") (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)), vacated & remanded, 124 S.
    Ct. 1874 (2004); Ford v. West, No. 97-1342, 1998 WL 317561, at **1-2 (10th Cir. June 12,
    1998) (finding thoughts, sentiments, and emotions of co-workers questioned in
    investigation of racial harassment claim to be within protections of Exemptions 6
    and 7(C)); Hayes v. United States Dep't of Labor, No. 96-1149, slip op. at 9-10 (S.D. Ala.
    June 18, 1998) (magistrate's recommendation) (protecting information that "would
    have divulged personal information or disclosed the identity of a confidential source"
    in an OSHA investigation) (Exemption 7(C)), adopted, (S.D. Ala. Aug. 10, 1998);
    Tenaska Wash. Partners v. United States Dep't of Energy, No. 8:96-128, slip op. at 6-8
    (D. Neb. Feb. 19, 1997) (protecting information that would "readily identify"
    individuals who provided information during routine IG audit); McLeod v. Peña, No.
    94-1924, slip op. at 4 (D.D.C. Feb. 9, 1996) (protecting in their entireties memoranda
    and witness statements concerning investigation of plaintiff's former commanding
    officer when unit consisted of eight officers and twenty enlisted personnel)
    (Exemption 7(C)), summary affirmance granted sub nom. McLeod v. United States
    Coast Guard
    , No. 96-5071, 1997 WL 150096 (D.C. Cir. Feb. 10, 1997). But see Cooper
    Cameron Corp. v. United States Dep't of Labor
    , 280 F.3d 539, 553-54 (5th Cir. 2002)
    (ordering disclosure of information that could link witnesses to their OSHA
    investigation statements, because agency presented no evidence of "possibility of
    employer retaliation") (Exemption 7(C)); Horowitz v. Peace Corps, No. 00-0848, slip
    op. at 12-13 (D.D.C. Oct. 12, 2001) (finding "nothing more than an implicit, yet minimal,
    privacy interest" in identity of complainant against Peace Corps volunteer,
    particularly "where the underlying accusations that involve private and sensitive
    matters were made against the plaintiff, as opposed to the third-party
    complainant"), subsequent decision, No. 00-0848 (D.D.C. Jan. 6, 2004) (appeal
    pending); Fine v. United States Dep't of Energy, 823 F. Supp. 888, 896 (D.N.M. 1993)
    (ordering disclosure based partly upon the fact that the plaintiff no longer was
    employed by the agency and was "not in a position on-the-job to harass or intimidate
    employees of DOE/OIG and/or its contractors").

    106. See FOIA Update, Vol. V, No. 1, at 5; see also, e.g., Johnson v. Executive Office
    for United States Attorneys
    , 310 F.3d 771, 775-76 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (finding that agency's
    efforts to determine if individuals were alive or dead met "basic steps" necessary to
    determine information that could affect privacy interests, and concluding that "[w]e
    will not attempt to establish a brightline set of steps for agency to take" in
    determining whether an individual is dead); Manna v. United States Dep't of Justice,
    No. 92-1840, slip op. at 8 (D.N.J. Aug. 27, 1993) (finding government's obligation
    fulfilled by search of computerized index system and index cards for evidence of
    death of witness relocated more than twenty years ago), aff'd, 51 F.3d 1158 (3d Cir.
    1995); Williams v. United States Dep't of Justice, 556 F. Supp. 63, 66 (D.D.C. 1982)
    (finding agency's good-faith processing, rather than extensive research for public
    disclosures, sufficient in lengthy, multifaceted judicial proceedings); cf. McGehee v.
    Casey
    , 718 F.2d 1137, 1141 n.9 (D.C. Cir. 1983) (recognizing that CIA cannot
    reasonably bear burden of conducting exhaustive search to prove that particular
    items of classified information have never been published) (non-FOIA case).

    107. Schrecker v. United States Dep't of Justice,
    349 F.3d 657, 662-65 (D.C. Cir. 2003)
    (holding decisively at long last that the FBI's administrative process
    of using its "100-year rule," searching the Social Security Death Index
    if an individual's birthdate is in
    records, and using its institutional knowledge is reasonable and
    entirely sufficient in
    determining whether individuals mentioned in requested records are
    deceased).

    108. 489 U.S. at 780; see also Favish, 124 S. Ct. at 1581 (discussing the need for
    "stability with respect to both the specific category of privacy interests . . . and . . .
    public interests," because "[o]therwise, courts will be left to balance in an ad hoc
    manner"); accord Halloran v. VA, 874 F.2d 315, 322 (5th Cir. 1989); see also FOIA
    Update
    , Vol. X, No. 2, at 4.

    109. See Davin v. United States Dep't of Justice, 60 F.3d 1043, 1059 (3d Cir. 1995)
    ("[A]fter a sufficient passage of time . . . it would be unreasonable . . . not to assume
    that many of the individuals named in the requested records have died."); Diamond,
    707 F.2d at 77 (requiring agency to review 200,000 pages outside scope of request to
    search for evidence as to whether subjects' privacy had been waived through death
    or prior public disclosure) (Exemption 7(C)); Outlaw, 815 F. Supp. at 506 (declining to
    withhold photographs of a victim murdered twenty-five years ago to protect the
    privacy of relatives when "[d]efendant's concern for the privacy of the decedent's
    surviving relatives has not extended to an effort to locate them . . . [and] there is no
    showing by defendant that, as of now, there are any surviving relatives of the
    deceased, or if there are, that they would be offended by the disclosure"); Wilkinson
    v. FBI
    , No. 80-1048, slip op. at 12-13 (C.D. Cal. June 17, 1987) (holding Exemption 7(C)
    inapplicable to documents more than thirty years old because the government relied
    on a presumption that "all persons [who are] the subject of FOIA requests are . . .
    living"); cf. Summers v. Dep't of Justice, 140 F.3d 1077, 1085 (D.C. Cir. 1998) (Williams,
    J., concurring) (suggesting that "taking death into account only if the fact has
    happened to swim into their line of vision" might not be adequate if the FBI has
    access to "data bases that could resolve the issue") (Exemptions 6 and 7(C));
    Rosenfeld v. United States Dep't of Justice, 57 F.3d 803, 813 (9th Cir. 1995) (ordering
    disclosure of information based upon belief that it was not likely that anyone could
    be identified twenty-five years later) (Exemption 7(C)). But see Assassination
    Archives & Research Ctr. v. CIA
    , 903 F. Supp. 131, 133 (D.D.C. 1995) (protecting the
    identities of third parties in thirty-to-forty-year-old records based upon its finding
    "that the passage of time may actually increase privacy interests") (Exemption 7(C)).

    110. See, e.g., Nat'l Org. for Women v. Soc. Sec. Admin., 736 F.2d 727, 728 (D.C. Cir.
    1984) (per curiam) (affirming district court's decision to enjoin release of affirmative
    action plans submitted to SSA) (Exemptions 4 and 6); Sonderegger v. United States
    Dep't of the Interior
    , 424 F. Supp. 847, 853-56 (D. Idaho 1976) (ordering temporary
    injunction of release of claimant names and amount claimed for victims of Teton Dam
    disaster, while allowing release of amount paid and category of payment with all
    personal identifying information deleted) (Exemptions 4 and 6).

    111. Campaign for Family Farms, 200 F.3d at 1182-84.

    112. 5 U.S.C. Â§Â§ 701-06 (2000) ("A person suffering legal wrong because of agency
    action, or adversely affected or aggrieved by agency action . . . is entitled to judicial
    review thereof."); see Chrysler v. Brown, 441 U.S. 281, 318 (1979) (deciding that judicial
    review based on administrative record according to "arbitrary, capricious, or not in
    accordance with law" standard applies to "reverse" FOIA cases).

    113. Campaign for Family Farms, 200 F.3d at 1184-89; see also Doe v. Veneman, 230
    F. Supp. 2d at 749-51 (enjoining USDA from releasing ranch names and home
    addresses of ranchers, but mistakenly including within injunction releases through
    future FOIA requests and through non-FOIA matters); AFL-CIO v. Fed. Election
    Comm'n
    , 177 F. Supp. 2d 48, 61-63 (D.D.C. 2001) (finding, despite questionable
    standing of requester organization, agency's refusal to invoke Exemption 7(C) to
    withhold identities of individuals in its investigative files to be "arbitrary, capricious
    and contrary to law"), aff'd on other grounds, 333 F.3d 168 (D.C. Cir. 2003); Forest
    Guardians
    , No. 99-0615, slip op. at 39-45 (D.N.M. Jan. 29, 2001) (setting aside agency's
    decision to disclose personal financial information on escrow waiver forms that are
    used by banks to record use of federal grazing permits as loan collateral) (reverse
    FOIA suit).

    114. Na Iwi O Na Kupuna, 894 F. Supp. at 1402-04.

    115. Id. at 1412-13 (concluding that Exemption 6 was not intended to protect
    information pertaining to human remains, nor to protect information pertaining to
    large groups in which individuals are not identifiable).

    116. 3 C.F.R. 235 (1988), reprinted in 5 U.S.C. § 552 note (2000), and in FOIA Update,
    Vol. VIII, No. 2, at 2-3; see also FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy'
    in Favish" (posted 4/9/04) (comparing the operation of the "submitter notice"
    provision to cases involving personal privacy, where the individuals whose privacy
    "interests are being protected under the FOIA rarely are aware of th[e FOIA]
    process, let alone involved in it").

    117. Blakey v. Dep't of Justice, 549 F. Supp. 362, 365 (D.D.C. 1982) (Exemption 7(C)),
    aff'd in part & vacated in part, 720 F.2d 215 (D.C. Cir. 1983); see Halpern v. FBI, No. 94-CV-365A, 2002 WL 31012157, at *10 (W.D.N.Y. Sept. 1, 2001) (magistrate's
    recommendation) (finding that there exists "no authority requiring the Government
    to contact [individuals mentioned in documents] for Exemption 6 to apply"), adopted
    (W.D.N.Y. Oct. 17, 2001); see also FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor
    Privacy' in Favish" (posted 4/9/04) (noting that no formal objection is necessary for
    agencies to invoke FOIA's privacy exemptions to protect individuals); cf. Hemenway,
    601 F. Supp. at 1007 (placing burden on requester, not agency, to contact foreign
    correspondents for requested citizenship information after receiving list of
    correspondents with office telephone numbers and addresses, and noting that
    correspondents are "free to decline to respond"). But cf. War Babes v. Wilson, 770 F.
    Supp. 1, 4-5 (D.D.C. 1990) (allowing agency sixty days to meet burden of establishing
    privacy interest by obtaining affidavits from World War II servicemembers who
    object to release of their addresses to British citizens seeking to locate their natural
    fathers).

    118. See, e.g., Jefferson v. United States Dep't of Justice, Office of the Inspector
    General
    , No. 01-1418, slip op. at 4-5 (D.D.C. Nov. 14, 2003) (allowing Department of
    Justice attorney to intervene to protect her personal privacy interests, on basis that
    she was at odds with plaintiff over release of information about her and that there
    was a question of the Department's ability to adequately represent her interests
    given past and ongoing employment discrimination matters) (Exemption 7(C)); cf.
    Doe v. Glickman, 256 F.3d 371, 375-81 (5th Cir. 2001) (holding that requester could
    intervene in "reverse" FOIA suit brought by individuals, in order to seek to block
    release of personally identifying information that requester sought in related FOIA
    suit); Pub. Citizen Health Research Group v. United States Dep't of Labor, 591 F.2d
    808, 809 (D.C. Cir. 1978) (same, in FOIA suit).

    119. See FOIA Update, Vol. X, No. 2, at 7 ("FOIA Counselor: Exemption 6 and
    Exemption 7(C): Step-by-Step Decisionmaking").

    120. See Carter v. United States Dep't of Commerce, 830 F.2d 388, 391 nn.8 & 13 (D.C.
    Cir. 1987); see also NARA v. Favish, 124 S. Ct. 1570, 1582 (2004) (instructing that the
    balance does not even come "into play" when a requester has produced no evidence
    to "warrant a belief by a reasonable person that the alleged Government
    impropriety might have occurred") (Exemption 7(C)), reh'g denied, No. 02-409, 2004
    WL 108633 (U.S. May 17, 2004).

    121. 489 U.S. 749, 773 (1989); see also O'Kane v. United States Customs Serv., 169 F.3d
    1308, 1310 (11th Cir. 1999) (per curiam) (affirming that Electronic Freedom of
    Information Act Amendments of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-231, 110 Stat. 3048, do not
    overrule Reporters Committee definition of "public interest"). But cf. Voinche v. FBI,
    940 F. Supp. 323, 330 n.4 (D.D.C. 1996) (dictum) (speculating, based upon mere
    newspaper report of legislative action, that Electronic FOIA amendments would
    "effectively overrule" Reporters Committee), aff'd on other grounds per curiam, No.
    96-5304, 1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 19089 (D.C. Cir. June 19, 1997).

    122. See Landano v. United States Dep't of Justice, 956 F.2d 422, 430 (3d Cir.) (There
    is "no FOIA-recognized public interest in discovering wrongdoing by a state
    agency.") (Exemption 7(C)), cert. denied on Exemption 7(C) question, 506 U.S. 868
    (1992), & rev'd & remanded on other grounds, 508 U.S. 165 (1993); Garcia v. United
    States Dep't of Justice
    , 181 F. Supp. 2d 356, 374 (S.D.N.Y. 2002) (noting that the
    "discovery of wrongdoing at a state as opposed to a federal agency . . . is not a goal
    of FOIA") (Exemption 7(C)); see also FOIA Update, Vol. XII, No. 2, at 6 (advising that
    "government" should mean federal government); cf. Lissner v. United States
    Customs Serv.
    , 241 F.3d 1220, 1223 & n.2 (9th Cir. 2001) (finding a public interest in the
    agency's treatment of city police officers arrested for smuggling steroids, but
    declining to "address the issue of whether opening up state and local governments
    to scrutiny also raises a cognizable public interest under the FOIA") (Exemption
    7(C)); Dollinger v. USPS, No. 95-CV-6174T, slip op. at 3-4 (W.D.N.Y. Aug. 24, 1995)
    (finding "that the term 'government' as used in § 552(a)(4)(A)(iii) [i.e., the fee waiver
    provision] of the statute refers to the federal government").

    123. 489 U.S. at 775; see Bibles v. Or. Natural Desert Ass'n, 519 U.S. 355, 355-56 (1997);
    DOD v. FLRA, 510 U.S. 487, 497 (1994); see also, e.g., Iowa Citizens for Cmty.
    Improvement v. USDA
    , 256 F. Supp. 2d 946, 951 (S.D. Iowa 2002) (declaring that while
    a presidential nominee's "fitness for public office may be of great popular concern to
    the public," such concern "does not translate into a real public interest that is
    cognizable . . . [under] the FOIA"); Gallant v. NLRB, No. 92-873, slip op. at 8-10 (D.D.C.
    Nov. 6, 1992) (concluding that disclosure of names of individuals to whom NLRB
    Member sent letters in attempt to secure reappointment would not add to
    understanding of NLRB's performance of its duties), aff'd on other grounds, 26 F.3d
    168 (D.C. Cir. 1994); Andrews v. United States Dep't of Justice, 769 F. Supp. 314, 316-17
    (E.D. Mo. 1991) (finding that although release of an individual's address, telephone
    number, and place of employment might serve a general public interest in the
    satisfaction of monetary judgments, "it does not implicate a public interest
    cognizable under the FOIA"); see also FOIA Update, Vol. XVIII, No. 1, at 1; FOIA
    Update
    , Vol. X, No. 2, at 4, 6; cf. FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Vacates and Remands in
    ATF Database Case" (posted 3/25/03) (discussing the Supreme Court's decision to
    vacate the Seventh Circuit opinion that erroneously found that "[t]he effectiveness of
    ATF's performance [of its statutory duties] impacts the City's interests" (citing City of
    Chicago v. United States Dep't of Treasury
    , 286 F.3d 628, 637 (7th Cir. 2002))).

    124. See, e.g., Dep't of the Air Force v. Rose, 425 U.S. 352, 372 (1976); Ripskis v. HUD,
    746 F.2d 1, 3 (D.C. Cir. 1981); Fund for Constitutional Gov't v. Nat'l Archives & Records
    Serv.
    , 656 F.2d 856, 862 (D.C. Cir. 1981).

    125. 124 S. Ct. at 1580; see also FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy'
    in Favish" (posted 4/9/04) (noting that the Supreme Court "emphasized" the
    requirement of "significan[ce]").

    126. See, e.g., Multnomah County Med. Soc'y v. Scott, 825 F.2d 1410, 1413 (9th Cir.
    1987) (commercial solicitation of Medicare recipients); Wine Hobby USA, Inc. v. IRS,
    502 F.2d 133, 137 (3d Cir. 1974) (individuals licensed to produce wine at home
    requested by distributor of amateur wine-making equipment); see also Aronson v.
    HUD
    , 822 F.2d 182, 185-86 (1st Cir. 1987) (Plaintiff's "commercial motivations are
    irrelevant for determining the public interest served by disclosure; they do, however,
    suggest one of the ways in which private interests could be harmed by disclosure
    and a reason why individuals would wish to keep the information confidential.").

    127. See, e.g., Multnomah County Med. Soc'y, 825 F.2d at 1413; Van Bourg, Allen,
    Weinberg & Roger v. NLRB
    , 728 F.2d 1270, 1273 (9th Cir. 1984), vacated, 756 F.2d 692
    (9th Cir.), reinstated, 762 F.2d 831 (9th Cir. 1985). But see also FOIA Post, "Supreme
    Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy' in Favish" (posted 4/9/04) (noting a similar Ninth
    Circuit misinterpretation of Exemption 7(C) that had "left it alone among all circuit
    courts of appeals" until the Supreme Court repudiated its approach in Favish).

    128. 489 U.S. at 771; see also DOD v. FLRA, 510 U.S. at 496-501; FOIA Update, Vol. X,
    No. 2, at 5-6.

    129. 489 U.S. at 771; see FOIA Update, Vol. X, No. 2, at 5; see also, e.g., Frets v. Dep't
    of Transp.
    , No. 88-404-W-9, 1989 WL 222608, at **5-6 (W.D. Mo. Dec. 14, 1989)
    (withholding names of third parties mentioned in plaintiffs' own statements).

    130. 489 U.S. at 772; see also Favish, 124 S. Ct. at 1580 (reiterating the Reporters
    Committee
    principle that "citizens should not be required to explain why they seek
    the information" at issue, but further elucidating that in a case where the requester's
    purported public interest revolves around an allegation of government wrongdoing,
    "the usual rule that the citizen need not offer a reason for requesting the information
    must be inapplicable"); DOD v. FLRA, 510 U.S. at 496-501.

    131. 489 U.S. at 772.

    132. See id. at 771-72 & n.20; see also Schiffer v. FBI, 78 F.3d 1405, 1410-11 (9th Cir.
    1996) (noting that individual interest in obtaining information about oneself does not
    constitute public interest); Schwarz v. United States Dep't of State, No. 97-1342, slip
    op. at 1-5 (D.D.C. Mar. 20, 1998) (protecting address of individual despite incorrigibly
    prolific FOIA plaintiff's claim that she sought imagined "missing" husband's address
    so that she might "testify on his behalf and win his release from prison"), aff'd per
    curiam
    , 172 F.3d 921 (D.C. Cir. 1998) (unpublished table decision).

    133. See FOIA Update, Vol. X, No. 2, at 5-6; see also Favish, 124 S. Ct. at 1581 ("It
    must be remembered that once there is a disclosure, the information belongs to the
    general public.").

    134. Curry v. DEA, No. 97-1359, slip op. at 5 (D.D.C. Mar. 30, 1998) (citing Brady v.
    Maryland
    , 373 U.S. 83 (1963)); see Neely v. FBI, 208 F.3d 461, 464 (4th Cir. 2000) (stating
    that "courts have sensibly refused to recognize, for purposes of FOIA, a public
    interest in nothing more than the fairness of a criminal defendant's own trial"); Lora
    v. United States Dep't of Justice
    , No. 00-3072, slip op. at 13 (D.D.C. Apr. 9, 2004)
    ("Plaintiff's interest in attacking his conviction does not constitute a public interest
    sufficient to overcome the privacy interests of [third parties]."); Martin v. United
    States Dep't of Justice
    , No. 96-2866, slip op. at 10 (D.D.C. Dec. 15, 1999) (noting that
    "courts have consistently found Brady violations to be outside the scope of the
    FOIA"); Billington v. Dep't of Justice, 11 F. Supp. 2d 45, 63 (D.D.C. 1998) (noting that
    "requests for Brady material are 'outside the proper role of FOIA'" (quoting Johnson
    v. Dep't of Justice
    , 758 F. Supp. 2, 5 (D.D.C. 1991))), aff'd in pertinent part, 233 F.3d 581
    (D.C. Cir. 2000); cf. Hale v. United States Dep't of Justice, 226 F.3d 1200, 1204 n.4 (10th
    Cir. 2000) (finding that plaintiff's Brady claim is irrelevant to Exemption 7(D) analysis).

    135. See Brown v. FBI, 658 F.2d 71, 75 (2d Cir. 1981) (private litigation); Cappabianca
    v. Comm'r, United States Customs Serv.
    , 847 F. Supp. 1558, 1564 (M.D. Fla. 1994) (job-related causes of action); Harry v. Dep't of the Army, No. 92-1654, slip op. at 7-8
    (D.D.C. Sept. 10, 1993) (to appeal negative officer efficiency report); NTEU v. United
    States Dep't of the Treasury
    , 3 Gov't Disclosure Serv. (P-H) ¶ 83,224, at 83,948 (D.D.C.
    June 17, 1983) (grievance proceeding); FOIA Update, Vol. III, No. 4, at 6 (advising that
    requests from requesters who have clear personal interest in disclosure should be
    subject to careful scrutiny).

    136. Gilbey v. Dep't of the Interior, No. 89-0801, 1990 WL 174889, at *2 (D.D.C. Oct. 22,
    1990); see also Billington, 11 F. Supp. 2d at 64 (noting that proper forum for
    challenging alleged illegal warrantless search is in district court where case was
    prosecuted); Bongiorno v. Reno, No. 95-72143, 1996 WL 426451, at *4 (E.D. Mich. Mar.
    19, 1996) (observing that the proper place for a noncustodial parent to seek
    information about his child is the "state court that has jurisdiction over the parties,
    not a FOIA request or the federal court system"); cf. Favish, 124 S. Ct. at 1581 ("There
    is no mechanism under FOIA for a protective order allowing only the requester to
    see whether the information bears out his theory, or for proscribing its general
    dissemination."). But see Horowitz v. Peace Corps, No. 00-0848, slip op. at 11 (D.D.C.
    Jan. 6, 2004) (deciding that FOIA requester should not have to file new FOIA request
    in related civil case to obtain name previously withheld, because to do so would
    delay that case) (appeal pending).

    137. Multnomah County Med. Soc'y, 825 F.2d at 1415 (quoting NLRB v. Robbins Tire &
    Rubber Co.
    , 437 U.S. 214, 242 (1978)); see also Arieff v. United States Dep't of the
    Navy
    , 712 F.2d 1462, 1468 (D.C. Cir. 1983); Wash. Post Co. v. HHS, 690 F.2d 252, 264
    (D.C. Cir. 1982); Nat'l Ass'n of Atomic Veterans, Inc. v. Dir., Def. Nuclear Agency, 583 F.
    Supp. 1483, 1487 (D.D.C. 1984).

    138. See Favish, 124 S. Ct. at 1581 (stressing that there should be a "necessary nexus
    between the requested information and the asserted public interest that would be
    advanced by disclosure"); see also FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor
    Privacy' in Favish" (posted 4/9/04) (discussing the importance of establishing an
    "actual connection" between the particular information at issue and the qualifying
    public interest articulated by the requester).

    139. See, e.g., Cochran v. United States, 770 F.2d 949, 956-57 (11th Cir. 1985)
    (nonjudicial punishment findings and discipline imposed on Army major general for
    misuse of government personnel and facilities) (Privacy Act "wrongful disclosure"
    suit); Stern v. FBI, 737 F.2d 84, 93-94 (D.C. Cir. 1984) (name of high-level FBI official
    censured for deliberate and knowing misrepresentation) (Exemption 7(C)); Columbia
    Packing Co. v. USDA
    , 563 F.2d 495, 499 (1st Cir. 1977) (information about federal
    employees found guilty of accepting bribes); Chang v. Dep't of the Navy, No. 00-0783,
    2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7021, at **21-24 (D.D.C. Apr. 22, 2004) (information about Naval
    Commander's nonjudicial punishment for involvement in accident at sea) (Privacy Act
    "wrongful disclosure" suit); Wood v. FBI, No. 3:02cv2058, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5525, at
    **49-52 (D. Conn. Mar. 31, 2004) (identifying information linking FBI Supervisory
    Special Agent's name with specific findings and disciplinary action taken against
    him); Lurie v. Dep't of the Army, 970 F. Supp. 19, 39-40 (D.D.C. 1997) (information
    concerning "mid- to high-level" Army medical researcher whose apparent
    misrepresentation and misconduct contributed to appropriation of $20,000,000 for
    particular form of AIDS research), appeal dismissed voluntarily, No. 97-5248 (D.C. Cir.
    Oct. 22, 1997); Sullivan v. VA, 617 F. Supp. 258, 260-61 (D.D.C. 1985) (reprimand of
    senior official for misuse of government vehicle and failure to report accident)
    (Privacy Act "wrongful disclosure" suit/Exemption 7(C)); Cong. News Syndicate v.
    United States Dep't of Justice
    , 438 F. Supp. 538, 544 (D.D.C. 1977) (misconduct by
    White House staffers); cf. Perlman v. United States Dep't of Justice, 312 F.3d 100, 107-08 (2d Cir. 2002) (finding public interest, even though misconduct was not proven,
    because "a substantial amount of evidence shows [that former INS General Counsel]
    allowed former INS officials . . . to exercise improper influence" and "the degree of
    wrongdoing alleged is fairly serious") (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)), vacated & remanded,
    124 S. Ct. 1874 (2004); Ferri v. Bell, 645 F.2d 1213, 1218 (3d Cir. 1981) (finding attempt to
    expose alleged deal between prosecutor and witness to be in public interest)
    (Exemption 7(C)), vacated & reinstated in part on reh'g, 671 F.2d 769 (3d Cir. 1982).

    140. See, e.g., Rose, 425 U.S. at 381 (protecting names of cadets found to have
    violated Academy honor code); Hoyos v. United States, No. 98-4178, slip op. at 3 (11th
    Cir. Feb. 1, 1999) (finding "little public interest in access to [identities of individuals
    fired from the VA], especially when the reasons for removal -- the information that
    truly bears upon the agency's conduct, which is the focus of FOIA's concern -- were
    readily made available"); Beck v. Dep't of Justice, 997 F.2d 1489, 1493 (D.C. Cir. 1993)
    ("The identity of one or two individual relatively low-level government wrongdoers,
    released in isolation, does not provide information about the agency's own conduct.")
    (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)); Stern, 737 F.2d at 94 (protecting names of mid-level
    employees censured for negligence); Chamberlain v. Kurtz, 589 F.2d 827, 842 (5th Cir.
    1979) (protecting names of disciplined IRS agents); Chang, No. 00-0783, 2004 U.S. Dist.
    LEXIS 7021, at *24 (protecting names and results of punishment of lower-level
    officers involved in collision of Navy vessel with another ship); Jefferson v. United
    States Dep't of Justice, Office of the Inspector General
    , No. 01-1418, slip op. at 11
    (D.D.C. Nov. 14, 2003) ("A [nonsupervisory] Attorney-Advisor is not a government
    employee whose rank is so high that the public interest in disclosure of information
    pertaining to her performance of official government functions outweighs her
    personal privacy interest in protecting information about the details of a law
    enforcement investigation of her alleged misconduct.") (Exemption 7(C)); Gonzalez v.
    FBI
    , No. 99-5789, slip op. at 13-15 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 11, 2000) (declining to order agency
    to confirm or deny existence of records concerning any misconduct investigations
    against named federal employees) (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)), aff'd, 14 Fed. Appx. 916
    (9th Cir. 2001); Butler v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 86-2255, 1994 WL 55621, at
    *10 (D.D.C. Feb. 3, 1994) (protecting identity of FBI Special Agent who received "mild
    admonishment" for conduct that "was not particularly egregious"), appeal dismissed,
    No. 94-5078 (D.C. Cir. Sept. 8, 1994); Cotton v. Adams, 798 F. Supp. 22, 26-27 (D.D.C.
    1992) (finding that release of IG reports on conduct of low-level Smithsonian
    Institution employees would not allow public to evaluate Smithsonian's performance
    of mission); Heller v. United States Marshals Serv., 655 F. Supp. 1088, 1091 (D.D.C.
    1987) (protecting names of agency personnel found to have committed "only minor, if
    any, wrongdoing") (Exemption 7(C)).

    141. Beck, 997 F.2d at 1493-94; see Chin v. United States Dep't of the Air Force, No.
    97-2176, slip op. at 3 (W.D. La. June 24, 1999) (finding a significant privacy interest in
    records that "document[] personal and intimate incidents of misconduct [that have]
    not previously been a part of the public domain"), aff'd per curiam, No. 99-31237 (5th
    Cir. June 15, 2000).

    142. See, e.g., McCutchen v. HHS, 30 F.3d 183, 187-89 (D.C. Cir. 1994) (protecting
    identities of scientists found not to have engaged in alleged scientific misconduct)
    (Exemption 7(C)); Hunt v. FBI, 972 F.2d 286, 288-90 (9th Cir. 1992) (protecting
    investigation of named FBI agent cleared of charges of misconduct) (Exemption
    7(C)); Dunkelberger v. Dep't of Justice, 906 F.2d 779, 781-82 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (same)
    (Exemption 7(C)); Carter, 830 F.2d at 391 (protecting identities of attorneys subject to
    disciplinary proceedings that were later dismissed); Edmonds v. FBI, 272 F. Supp. 2d
    35, 52 (D.D.C. 2003) (protecting identities of FBI clerical employees and FBI Special
    Agents because there was no reason to believe that their identities would shed light
    on alleged misconduct in FBI's language division) (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)) (appeal
    pending); McQueen v. United States, 264 F. Supp. 2d 502, 533-34 (S.D. Tex. 2003)
    (deciding that public interest would not be served by "disclosure of information
    regarding unsubstantiated allegations" made against three government employees)
    (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)) (appeal pending); Pontecorvo v. FBI, No. 00-1511, slip op. at
    40 (D.D.C. Sept. 30, 2001) (declining to order disclosure of the identity of an FBI
    Special Agent under investigation by the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility
    when the investigation was instituted solely "because of Plaintiff's own written
    request, not the independent determination of the Bureau") (Exemption 7(C)). But
    see
    Dobronski v. FCC, 17 F.3d 275, 278-80 (9th Cir. 1994) (aberrationally ordering
    release of employee's sick leave slips despite fact that requester's allegations of
    abuse of leave time were wholly based upon unsubstantiated tips); see also FOIA
    Post
    , "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy' in Favish" (posted 4/9/04) (advising
    that Dobronksi is now discredited, if not effectively overruled, by Favish decision's
    total repudiation of Ninth Circuit's disclosure rationales).

    143. 124 S. Ct. at 1577; see also Summers v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 98-1837, slip op. at 19 (D.D.C. Apr. 13, 2004) (citing Favish and finding no merit to
    plaintiff's allegation that the FBI did not thoroughly investigate a case, because
    "plaintiff has not provided any evidence that the FBI acted improperly") (Exemption
    7(C)); FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy' in Favish" (posted 4/9/04)
    (discussing insufficiency of "mere allegations").

    144. 124 S. Ct. at 1581; see also FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy'
    in Favish" (posted 4/9/04) (discussing how privacy exemptions "could be swallowed
    whole" unless requesters alleging government wrongdoing are held to higher
    standards, because "[u]nfortunately, the government's decades of experience with
    FOIA administration teaches that there is no shortage of potential FOIA requesters
    who might be willing to make such allegations (even in what they would swear to be
    good faith, subjectively speaking) if that were all that it would take to gain
    disclosure").

    145. See United States Dep't of Justice v. Ray, 502 U.S. 164, 179 (1991) ("If a totally
    unsupported suggestion that the interest in finding out whether Government agents
    have been telling the truth justified disclosure of private materials, Government
    agencies would have no defenses against requests for production of private
    information."); see also Favish, 124 S. Ct. at 1581 (emphasizing importance of
    "practical[ity]" in privacy-protection decisionmaking).

    146. See Kimberlin v. Dep't of Justice, 139 F.3d 944, 949 (D.C. Cir. 1998) (concluding
    that Assistant United States Attorney "did not, merely by acknowledging the
    investigation and making a vague references to its conclusion, waive all his interest
    in keeping the contents of the OPR file confidential") (Exemption 7(C)); Mueller v.
    United States Dep't of the Air Force
    , 63 F. Supp. 2d 738, 743 (E.D. Va. 1999) (declaring
    that even given pre-existing publicity, "individuals have a strong interest in not being
    associated with alleged wrongful activity, particularly where, as here, the subject of
    the investigation is ultimately exonerated") (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)); see also Bast v.
    FBI
    , 665 F.2d 1251, 1255 (D.C. Cir. 1981) (explaining that publicity over an alleged
    transcript-alteration incident actually could exacerbate the harm to a privacy
    interest because "[t]he authoritative nature of such findings threatens much greater
    damage to an individual's reputation than newspaper articles or editorial columns"
    and "renewed publicity brings with it a renewed invasion of privacy"); Chin, No. 97-2176, slip op. at 5 (W.D. La. June 24, 1999) (finding that the fact "that some of the
    events are known to certain members of the public . . . is insufficient to place this
    record for dissemination into the public domain").

    147. See, e.g., Office of Capital Collateral Counsel, Northern Region of Fla. v. Dep't of
    Justice
    , 331 F.3d 799, 803-04 (11th Cir. 2003) (protecting AUSA's "private thoughts and
    feelings concerning her misconduct . . . and its effect on her, her family, and her
    career"); see also Kimberlin, 139 F.3d at 949 (finding that an AUSA "still has a privacy
    interest . . . in avoiding disclosure of the details of the investigation," despite the
    AUSA's acknowledgment that he was disciplined after the investigation); Halloran v.
    VA
    , 874 F.2d 315, 320-22 (5th Cir. 1989) (noting that employees of government
    contractor investigated by government for fraud did not lose privacy interests in
    comments transcribed in government investigatory files) (Exemption 7(C)); cf.
    LaRouche v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 90-2753, slip op. at 14 (D.D.C. Aug. 8,
    2002) (observing that the FBI "need not make a wholesale disclosure about an
    individual just because he is a publicly acknowledged FBI source") (Exemption 7(C)).

    148. See FOIA Update, Vol. XV, No. 2, at 2 (discussing Deputy Attorney General
    Memorandum dated Dec. 13, 1993 that established policy); cf. Cobell v. Norton, 157 F.
    Supp. 2d 82, 88-92 (D.D.C. 2001) (requiring agency to file publicly, rather than under
    seal, its report concerning court-ordered investigation into attorney misconduct in
    course of instant litigation) (non-FOIA case).

    149. See Deputy Attorney General Memorandum at 1-2.

    150. See, e.g., Int'l Bhd. of Elec. Workers Local No. 5 v. HUD, 852 F.2d 87, 90 (3d Cir.
    1988) (wage rates payable by federal contractors regulated by Davis-Bacon Act, 40
    U.S.C.A §§ 3141-3144, 3146-3147 (West Supp. 2003)); USDA v. FLRA, 836 F.2d 1139, 1143
    (8th Cir.) (names and addresses of federal employees under federal labor relations
    statute), cert. granted & remanded, 488 U.S. 1025 (1988), vacated, 876 F.2d 50 (8th Cir.
    1989); Common Cause v. Nat'l Archives & Records Serv., 628 F.2d 179, 183-85 (D.C. Cir.
    1980) (political campaign activities under Federal Corrupt Practices Act, 2 U.S.C. §§
    241-248, 252-256 (1970) (repealed 1972)) (Exemption 7(C)); Wash. Post, 690 F.2d at 265
    (public disclosure of financial statements required by Ethics in Government Act of
    1978 (currently codified at 5 U.S.C. app. 3 §§ 101-505 (2000 & Supp. I 2001))); see also
    Marzen v. HHS, 825 F.2d 1148, 1154 (7th Cir. 1987) (finding nondisclosure proper upon
    consideration of state statute mandating same).

    151. 879 F.2d 873 (D.C. Cir. 1989).

    152. 5 U.S.C. §§ 7101-7106, 7111-7123, 7131-7135 (2000 & Supp. I 2001).

    153. D.C. Circuit: FLRA v. United States Dep't of the Treasury, 884 F.2d 1446, 1453
    (D.C. Cir. 1989); First Circuit: FLRA v. United States Dep't of the Navy, 941 F.2d 49, 56-57 (1st Cir. 1991); Second Circuit: FLRA v. VA, 958 F.2d 503, 511-12 (2d Cir. 1992); Sixth
    Circuit: FLRA v. Dep't of the Navy, 963 F.2d 124, 125 (6th Cir. 1992); Seventh Circuit:
    FLRA v. United States Dep't of the Navy, 975 F.2d 348, 354-55 (7th Cir. 1992); Tenth
    Circuit: FLRA v. DOD, 984 F.2d 370, 375 (10th Cir. 1993); Eleventh Circuit: FLRA v.
    DOD
    , 977 F.2d 545, 548 (11th Cir. 1992). See also Reed v. NLRB, 927 F.2d 1249, 1251
    (D.C. Cir. 1991) (concluding that disclosure of "Excelsior" list (names and addresses of
    employees eligible to vote in union representation elections) would not reveal
    anything about NLRB's operations).

    154. Third Circuit: FLRA v. United States Dep't of the Navy, 966 F.2d 747, 758-59 (3d
    Cir. 1992) (en banc) (alternative holding); Fifth Circuit: FLRA v. DOD, 975 F.2d 1105,
    1113-15 (5th Cir.), rev'd, 510 U.S. 487 (1994); Ninth Circuit: FLRA v. United States Dep't
    of the Navy
    , 958 F.2d 1490, 1497 (9th Cir. 1992), reh'g granted & opinion withdrawn,
    No. 90-70511 (Apr. 18, 1994); see also FLRA v. Dep't of Commerce, 954 F.2d 994, 997
    (4th Cir. 1992), appeal dismissed per stipulation, No. 90-1852 (4th Cir. Apr. 6, 1995).

    155. FLRA v. United States Dep't of the Navy, 966 F.2d at 757-59; FLRA v. United
    States Dep't of the Navy
    , 958 F.2d at 1496-97.

    156. DOD v. FLRA, 510 U.S. 487 (1994).

    157. Id. at 496-97 & n.6.

    158. Id. at 499.

    159. Id. at 497 (quoting Reporters Comm., 489 U.S. at 773).

    160. 40 U.S.C.A §§ 3141-3144, 3146-3147.

    161. Hopkins v. HUD, 929 F.2d 81, 88 (2d Cir. 1991); see Sheet Metal Workers Int'l
    Ass'n, Local No. 19 v. VA
    , 135 F.3d 891, 903-05 (3d Cir. 1998); Sheet Metal Workers Int'l
    Ass'n, Local No. 9 v. United States Air Force
    , 63 F.3d 994, 997-98 (10th Cir. 1995);
    Painting & Drywall Work Pres. Fund, Inc. v. HUD, 936 F.2d 1300, 1303 (D.C. Cir. 1991).

    162. Painting & Drywall, 936 F.2d at 1303; see Sheet Metal Workers, 63 F.3d at 997-98;
    Hopkins, 929 F.2d at 88.

    163. Painting Indus. Mkt. Recovery Fund v. United States Dep't of the Air Force, 751
    F. Supp. 1410, 1417 (D. Haw.), reconsideration denied, 756 F. Supp. 452 (D. Haw. 1990);
    Seattle Bldg. & Constr. Trades Council v. HUD, No. C89-1346C, slip op. at 10-11 (W.D.
    Wash. Oct. 30, 1990).

    164. Painting Indus. Mkt. Recovery Fund v. United States Dep't of the Air Force, 26
    F.3d 1479, 1484-86 (9th Cir. 1994).

    165. Id. at 1485; see also Sheet Metal Workers, 63 F.3d at 997-98.

    166. Miller v. Bell, 661 F.2d 623, 630 (7th Cir. 1981); see also Accuracy in Media, Inc. v.
    Nat'l Park Serv.
    , 194 F.3d 120, 124 (D.C. Cir. 1999) (discounting inconsistencies in
    multiple agency reports from complex crime scene as "hardly so shocking as to
    suggest illegality or deliberate government falsification") (Exemption 7(C)); Schiffer,
    78 F.3d at 1410 (rejecting public interest argument absent evidence suggesting
    wrongdoing by FBI); Computer Prof'ls for Soc. Responsibility v. United States Secret
    Serv.
    , 72 F.3d 897, 904-05 (D.C. Cir. 1996) ("[T]he public interest is insubstantial unless
    the requester puts forward compelling evidence that the agency denying the FOIA
    request is engaged in illegal activity and shows that the information sought is
    necessary in order to confirm or refute that evidence.") (Exemption 7(C)); LaRouche v.
    United States Dep't of Justice
    , No. 90-2753, slip op. at 22-23 (D.D.C. Nov. 17, 2000)
    ("[W]hile the public interest in possible corruption is great, mere inferences of a
    violation carry little weight."); Wichlacz v. United States Dep't of Interior, 938 F. Supp.
    325, 333 (E.D. Va. 1996) (observing that plaintiff "has set forth no evidence to buttress
    his bald allegations" of cover-up in investigation of death of Deputy White House
    Counsel Vincent Foster, a theory substantially undercut by then-ongoing
    Independent Counsel investigation), aff'd, 114 F.3d 1178 (4th Cir. 1997) (unpublished
    table decision); Allard v. HHS, No. 4:90-CV-156, slip op. at 10-11 (W.D. Mich. Feb. 14,
    1992) (finding that "conclusory allegations" of plaintiff -- a prisoner with violent
    tendencies -- concerning ex-wife's misuse of children's social security benefits do not
    establish public interest), aff'd, 972 F.2d 346 (6th Cir. 1992) (unpublished table
    decision).

    167. See Halloran, 874 F.2d at 323; Rashid v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 99-2461, slip op. at 16-17 (D.D.C. June 12, 2001).

    168. 124 S. Ct. at 1581-82.

    169. Id. at 1582 (quoting Crawford-El v. Britton, 523 U.S. 574, 585 (1998)); see also Ray,
    502 U.S. at 178-79 (holding that there is presumption of legitimacy given to
    government conduct, and noting that privacy interests would be worthless if only
    bare allegations could overcome these interests).

    170. 124 S. Ct. at 1582.

    171. Id. at 1581.

    172. See FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy' in Favish" (posted
    4/9/04) (advising that Favish's "additional new standard for determining the
    existence and magnitude of a public interest in 'agency wrongdoing' cases does not
    replace the basic Reporters Committee standard for determining the existence of
    any 'public interest' generally"); see also FOIA Update, Vol. X, No. 2, at 6-7.

    173. See, e.g., Favish, 124 S. Ct. at 1580 (stressing the requirement that "the public
    interest sought to be advanced [be] a significant one"); see also FOIA Update, Vol.
    III, No. 4, at 6; accord Attorney General's Memorandum for Heads of All Federal
    Departments and Agencies Regarding the Freedom of Information Act (Oct. 12,
    2001), reprinted in FOIA Post (posted 10/15/01) (placing particular emphasis on the
    right to privacy among the other interests that are protected by the FOIA's
    exemptions).

    174. 929 F.2d at 88 (citing Halloran, 874 F.2d at 323 (observing that "merely stating
    that the interest exists in the abstract is not enough; rather, the court should have
    analyzed how that interest would be served by compelling disclosure")); see also
    Favish, 124 S. Ct. at 1581 (reminding agencies and courts alike of "the nexus required
    between the requested documents and the purported public interest served by
    disclosure"); FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy' in Favish" (posted
    4/9/04) (emphasizing that "Favish serves as a reminder of that requirement").

    175. Id.; see also Abraham & Rose, P.L.C. v. United States, 138 F.3d 1075, 1083 (6th
    Cir. 1998) (finding that information about individual taxpayers does not serve any
    possible public interest in "how the IRS exercises its power over the collection of
    taxes"); Idaho v. United States Forest Serv., No. 97-0230-S, slip op. at 6 (D. Idaho Dec.
    9, 1997) (determining that while disclosure of names and cities of residence of Forest
    Service land permit holders will show whether permits are being granted properly,
    disclosure of home addresses will provide no "additional insight into agency
    activities"); Save Our Springs Alliance v. Babbitt, No. A-97-CA-259, slip op. at 7-8
    (W.D. Tex. Nov. 19, 1997) (finding that "context of the letters" shows nature of
    correspondents who commented on issue before agency; release of home
    addresses and telephone numbers would add nothing to understanding of agency's
    process); Hecht v. United States Agency for Int'l Dev., No. 95-263, 1996 WL 33502232,
    at *12 (D. Del. Dec. 18, 1996) (determining that the public interest is served by release
    of redacted contractor's employee data sheets without the names, addresses' and
    other identifying information of the employees); Stabasefski v. United States, 919 F.
    Supp. 1570, 1575 (M.D. Ga. 1996) (finding that public interest is served by release of
    redacted vouchers showing amounts of Hurricane Andrew subsistence payment to
    FAA employees; disclosure of names of employees would shed no additional light
    on agency activities); Gannett Satellite Info. Network, Inc. v. United States Dep't of
    Educ.
    , 1990 WL 251480, at *6 (D.D.C. Dec. 21, 1990) ("If in fact a student has defaulted,
    [his] name, address, and social security number would reveal nothing about the
    Department's attempts to collect on those defaulted loans. Nor would [they] reveal
    anything about the potential misuse of public funds."). But see Judicial Watch v.
    United States Dep't of Justice
    , 102 F. Supp. 2d 6, 17-18 (D.D.C. 2000) (allowing deletion
    of home addresses and telephone numbers, but ordering release of identities of
    individuals who wrote to Attorney General about campaign finance or Independent
    Counsel issues), reconsideration denied temporarily pending in camera review, No.
    97-CV-2869 (D.D.C. Aug. 17, 2000); Or. Natural Desert Ass'n v. United States Dep't of
    the Interior
    , 24 F. Supp. 2d 1088, 1093 (D. Or. 1998) (finding that public interest in
    knowing how agency is enforcing land-management laws is served by release of
    names of cattle owners who violated federal grazing laws); Maples v. USDA, No. F
    97-5663, slip op. at 14 (E.D. Cal. Jan. 13, 1998) (finding that release of names and
    addresses of permit holders would show public how permit process works and
    eliminate "suspicions of favoritism in giving out permits" for use of federal lands).

    176. 737 F.2d 784, 787 (9th Cir. 1984); see Summers, No. 98-1837, slip op. at 13 (D.D.C.
    Apr. 13, 2004) (concluding that "plaintiff has not established that disclosing the
    redacted names [of the FBI employees] will provide any substantial additional
    information about the adequacy of the FBI's conduct"); Kelly v. CIA, No. 00-2498, slip
    op. at 49-50 (D.D.C. Sept. 25, 2002) (finding that although the "public interest in [the
    CIA's former] MKULTRA [program] is certainly very high," plaintiff had not
    demonstrated how disclosing the names of individual test subjects would shed light
    on the MKULTRA program or CIA activities), appeal on adequacy of search
    dismissed on procedural grounds
    , No. 02-5384, 2003 WL 21804101 (D.C. Cir. July 31,
    2003); Times Picayune Publ'g Corp. v. United States Dep't of Justice, 37 F. Supp. 2d
    472, at 480-81 (E.D. La. 1999) (concluding that release of mug shot would not inform
    members of public about "activities of their government") (Exemption 7(C));
    Baltimore Sun Co. v. United States Customs Serv., No. 97-1991, slip op. at 7 (D. Md.
    Nov. 21, 1997) (finding that the photograph of an individual who pled guilty to
    trafficking in child pornography was not "sufficiently probative of the fairness of [his]
    sentence that its disclosure [would] inform[] the public of 'what the government is up
    to'") (Exemption 7(C)); N.Y. Times Co. v. NASA, 782 F. Supp. 628, 632-33 (D.D.C. 1991)
    (finding that release of the audiotape of the Challenger astronauts' voices just prior
    to the explosion would not serve the "undeniable interest in learning about NASA's
    conduct before, during and after the Challenger disaster"). But see Detroit Free
    Press, Inc. v. Dep't of Justice
    , 73 F.3d 93, 97-98 (6th Cir. 1996) (finding that the agency's
    disclosure of the mug shots of indicted individuals during the course of an ongoing
    criminal proceeding could reveal an "error in detaining the wrong person for an
    offense" or the "circumstances surrounding an arrest and initial incarceration");
    Rosenfeld v. United States Dep't of Justice, 57 F.3d 803, 811-12 (9th Cir. 1995)
    (concluding that disclosure of the identities of individuals investigated would reveal
    whether the "FBI abused its law enforcement mandate by overzealously
    investigating a political protest movement to which some members of the
    government may then have objected") (Exemption 7(C)); Baltimore Sun v. United
    States Marshals Serv.
    , 131 F. Supp. 2d 725, 729-30 (D. Md. 2001) (declaring that
    "[a]ccess to names and addresses [of purchasers of seized property] would enable
    the public to assess law enforcement agencies' exercise of the substantial power to
    seize property, as well as USMS's performance of its duties regarding disposal of
    forfeited property") (Exemption 7(C)), appeal dismissed voluntarily, No. 01-1537 (4th
    Cir. June 25, 2001).

    177. 732 F.2d 526, 530 (6th Cir. 1984); Painting Indus., 26 F.3d at 1484-85 (protecting
    names and addresses of employees on payroll records, and stating that the
    "additional public benefit the requesters might realize through [contacting the
    employees] is inextricably intertwined with the invasions of privacy that those
    contacts will work").

    178. See Oguaju v. United States, 288 F.3d 448, 451 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (declaring that
    "even if the records Oguaju seeks would reveal wrongdoing in his case, exposing a
    single, garden-variety act of misconduct would not serve the FOIA's purpose of
    showing 'what the Government is up to'") (Exemption 7(C)), vacated & remanded, 124
    S. Ct. 1903 (2004); Neely v. FBI, 208 F.3d 461, 464 (4th Cir. 2000) (observing that "courts
    have refused to recognize, for purposes of FOIA, a public interest in nothing more
    than the fairness of a criminal defendant's own trial") (Exemption 7(C)); Hunt, 972
    F.2d at 289 (observing that disclosure of single internal investigation file "will not
    shed any light on whether all such FBI investigations are comprehensive or whether
    sexual misconduct by agents is common"); Mueller, 63 F. Supp. 2d at 745 ("the
    interest of the public in the personnel file of one Air Force prosecutor is attenuated
    because information concerning a single isolated investigation reveals relatively
    little about the conduct of the Air Force as an agency") (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)); Chin,
    No. 97-2176, slip op. at 5 (W.D. La. June 24, 1999) (finding only "marginal benefit to the
    public interest" in release of the facts of a single case, particularly "where alternative
    means exist -- such as statistical samples or generalized accounts -- to satisfy the
    public interest"). But see Cooper Cameron Corp. v. United States Dep't of Labor, 280
    F.3d 539, 548-49 (5th Cir. 2002) (perceiving a "public interest in monitoring agencies'
    enforcement of the law in specific instances") (Exemption 7(C)); Horowitz v. Peace
    Corps
    , No. 00-0848, slip op. at 14-15 (D.D.C. Oct. 12, 2001) (aberrationally finding that
    the "minimal public interest" in disclosure of the identity of plaintiff's accuser, based
    upon the premise that it would permit "independent investigation of the defendant's
    treatment of the plaintiff," outweighs the accuser's "de minimis privacy interest")
    (appeal pending).

    179. 124 S. Ct. at 1581.

    180. 489 U.S. at 774; see also NARFE, 879 F.2d at 879 (finding that names and home
    addresses of federal annuitants reveal nothing directly about workings of
    government); Halloran, 874 F.2d at 323 ("[M]erely stating that the interest exists in
    the abstract is not enough; rather, the court should have analyzed how that interest
    would be served by compelling disclosure."); Kimberlin v. Dep't of the Treasury, 774
    F.2d 204, 208 (7th Cir. 1985) ("The record fails to reflect any benefit which would
    accrue to the public from disclosure and [the requester's] self-serving assertions of
    government wrongdoing and coverup do not rise to the level of justifying
    disclosure.") (Exemption 7(C)); Johnson v. United States Dep't of Justice, 739 F.2d
    1514, 1519 (10th Cir. 1984) (finding that because allegations of improper use of law
    enforcement authority were not at all supported in requested records, disclosure of
    FBI special agent names would not serve public interest) (Exemption 7(C)); Stern,
    737 F.2d at 92 (finding that certain specified public interests "would not be satiated
    in any way" by disclosure) (Exemption 7(C)); Miller, 661 F.2d at 630 (noting that
    plaintiff's broad assertions of government cover-up were unfounded as investigation
    was of consequence to plaintiff only and therefore did not "warrant probe of FBI
    efficiency") (Exemption 7(C)); Nation Magazine v. Dep't of State, No. 92-2303, slip op.
    at 20-24 & n.15 (D.D.C. Aug. 18, 1995) ("[T]he public interest in knowing more about
    [presidential candidate H. Ross] Perot's dealings with the government is also not the
    type of public interest protected by the FOIA."). But see Nation Magazine v. United
    States Customs Serv.
    , 71 F.3d 885, 895 (D.C. Cir. 1995) (finding that agency's response
    to presidential candidate H. Ross Perot's offer to assist in drug interdiction would
    serve public interest in agency's plans regarding "'privatization of government
    functions'").

    181. See Reporters Comm., 489 U.S. at 774, 766 n.18; see also Robbins v. HHS, No.
    1:95-cv-3258, slip op. at 8-9 (N.D. Ga. Aug. 12, 1996) (ruling that the possibility that
    release of names and addresses of rejected social security disability claimants could
    ultimately reveal the agency's wrongful denial is "too attenuated to outweigh the
    significant invasion of privacy"), aff'd per curiam, No. 96-9000 (11th Cir. July 8, 1997);
    Gannett Satellite, No. 90-1392, slip op. at 12 (D.D.C. Dec. 21, 1990) (finding that names,
    addresses, and social security numbers of student loan defaulters would reveal
    nothing directly about Department of Education's administration of student loan
    program); FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy' in Favish" (posted
    4/9/04) (pointing out that "Favish now stands as a further bulwark against"
    speculation-wielding FOIA requesters). But see Avondale Indus. v. NLRB, 90 F.3d
    955, 961-62 (5th Cir. 1996) (declaring that disclosure of marked unredacted voting lists
    in union representation election would give plaintiff information it needs to
    determine whether NLRB conducted election tainted with fraud and corruption); Int'l
    Diatomite Producers Ass'n v. United States Soc. Sec. Admin.
    , No. C-92-1634, 1993 WL
    137286, at *5 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 28, 1993) (finding that release of vital status information
    concerning diatomite industry workers serves "public interest in evaluating whether
    public agencies (OSHA, [Mine Safety and Health Administration], and EPA) carry out
    their statutory duties to protect the public from the potential health hazards from
    crystalline silica exposure"), appeal dismissed, No. 93-16723 (9th Cir. Nov. 1, 1993).

    182. See NARFE, 879 F.2d at 875; see also FOIA Update, Vol. X, No. 2, at 6
    (discussing the narrowed "public interest" concept under Reporters Committee).

    183. 502 U.S. 164 (1991).

    184. Id. at 178; see also Pub. Citizen, Inc. v. RTC, No. 92-0010, 1993 WL 1617868, at
    **3-4 (D.D.C. Mar. 19, 1993) (adjudging public interest in agency's compliance with
    Affordable Housing Disposition Program to be served by release of information with
    identities of bidders and purchasers redacted). But see Rosenfeld, 57 F.3d at 811-12
    (concluding that disclosure of names of investigative subjects would serve public
    interest in knowing whether FBI "overzealously" investigated political protest group
    by allowing comparison of investigative subjects to group's leadership roster)
    (Exemption 7(C)).

    185. 502 U.S. at 178-79; see also Navigator Publ'g v. United States Dep't of Transp.,
    146 F. Supp. 2d 68, 71 (D. Me. 2001) (concluding that release of addresses of merchant
    mariners licensed by United States would serve only "hypothetical 'derivative use'"
    that is far outweighed by "demonstrably significant invasion of privacy"), appeal
    dismissed
    , No. 01-1939 (1st Cir. Sept. 19, 2001).

    186. 502 U.S. at 178-79.

    187. Thott v. United States Dep't of the Interior, No. 93-0177-B, slip op. at 5-6 (D. Me.
    Apr. 14, 1994).

    188. Ray v. United States Dep't of Justice, 852 F. Supp. 1558, 1564-65 (S.D. Fla. 1994)
    (distinguishing Ray, 502 U.S. 164, on the basis that "in the instant case . . . the public
    interest is not adequately served by release of the redacted logs [and] this Court
    cannot say that interviewing the returnees would not produce any information
    concerning our government's conduct during the interdiction process").

    189. Urbigkit v. United States Dep't of the Interior, No. 93-CV-0232-J, slip op. at 13 (D.
    Wyo. May 31, 1994).

    190. Weiner v. FBI, No. 83-1720, slip op. at 5-7 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 6, 1995) (Exemptions 6
    and 7(C)).

    191. Cardona v. INS, No. 93-3912, 1995 WL 68747, at *3 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 15, 1995).

    192. Baltimore Sun, 131 F. Supp. 2d at 729-30.

    193. 273 F. Supp. 2d 67, 86-87 (D.D.C. 2003).

    194. Id. at 87.

    195. Id.

    196. 124 S. Ct. at 1581; see also Painting Indus., 26 F.3d at 1484-85 (finding that the
    public interest in monitoring an agency's enforcement of the Davis-Bacon Act is not
    served by disclosure of names and addresses on payroll records because an
    additional step of contacting employees is required and the "additional public
    benefit the requester might realize through these contacts is inextricably
    intertwined with the invasions of privacy that those contacts will work," but also
    reasoning that if yielding a public interest required only some further research by the
    requester, then the fact that the use is a "derivative" one should not detract from the
    strength of that public benefit); Sammis v. Barnhardt, No. C01-3973, 2002 WL 1285050,
    at *2 (N.D. Cal. June 6, 2002) ("If this court allowed disclosure, plaintiff would have to
    obtain the information, use it to contact applicants directly, and cause them to take
    action . . . . This derivative type of benefit is too tenuous to merit invading individuals'
    privacy."); Horsehead Indus. v. EPA, No. 94-1299, slip op. at 6 (D.D.C. Mar. 13, 1997)
    (acknowledging that disclosure of the identities of homeowners who volunteered to
    participate in a Superfund study might "provide a glimpse into EPA's activities," but
    finding that "this interest pales in comparison to the potential harm to the privacy" of
    study participants, based in part upon "reports of trespassers taking environmental
    samples"); Upper Peninsula Envtl. Coalition v. Forest Serv., No. 2:94-cv-021, slip op. at
    10 (W.D. Mich. Sept. 28, 1994) (finding the "derivative" public interest in gathering
    information that might assist the Forest Service in managing a wilderness area to be
    only "negligible," because "[i]t is not the purpose of the FOIA to allow private citizens
    to do the work of government agencies").

    197. DOD v. FLRA, 964 F.2d 26, 29-30 (D.C. Cir. 1992); see Office of the Capital
    Collateral Counsel
    , 331 F.3d at 804 (finding that there is substantial public
    information available about the AUSA's misconduct and that therefore any "public
    interest in knowing how DOJ responded to [the AUSA's] misconduct can be satisfied
    by this other public information"); Painting Indus., 26 F.3d at 1485 (union may "pass
    out fliers" or "post signs or advertisements soliciting information from workers about
    possible violations of the Davis-Bacon Act"); FLRA v. United States Dep't of
    Commerce
    , 962 F.2d 1055, 1060 n.2 (D.C. Cir. 1992) (union may "distribute
    questionnaires or conduct confidential face-to-face interviews" to obtain rating
    information about employees); Painting & Drywall, 936 F.2d at 1303 (contact at
    workplace is alternative to disclosing home addresses of employees); Multnomah
    County Med. Soc'y
    , 825 F.2d at 1416 (medical society can have members send
    literature to their patients as alternative to disclosure of identities of all Medicare
    beneficiaries); Chin, No. 97-2176, slip op. at 4-5 (W.D. La. June 24, 1999) (release of
    "statistical data and/or general accounts of incidents" would be an alternative to
    releasing investigative records of named individual to show whether government
    policies were "administered in an arbitrary manner"); Cowles Publ'g Co. v. United
    States
    , No. 90-349, slip op. at 8-9 (E.D. Wash. Dec. 20, 1990) (advertisements soliciting
    injured persons and their physicians, or direct contact with physicians, in region are
    viable alternatives to agency's releasing identities of persons injured by radiation
    exposure); Hemenway v. Hughes, 601 F. Supp. 1002, 1007 (D.D.C. 1985) (personal
    contact with individuals whose names and work addresses were released to
    plaintiff is alternative to agency's releasing personal information he seeks); cf. Heat
    & Frost Insulators & Asbestos Workers, Local 16 v. United States Dep't of the Air
    Force
    , No. S92-2173, slip op. at 3-4 (E.D. Cal. Oct. 4, 1993) (no alternative to union's
    request for payroll records -- with names, addresses, and social security numbers
    redacted -- would allow union to monitor agency's collection of records in
    compliance with federal regulations); Cotton, 798 F. Supp. at 27 n.9 (suggesting that
    request for all inspector general reports, from which identifying information could be
    redacted, would better serve public interest in overseeing discharge of inspector
    general duties than does request for only two specific investigative reports involving
    known individuals).

    198. 124 S. Ct. at 1582.

    199. DOD v. FLRA, 964 F.2d at 29-30.

    200. See, e.g., Perlman, 312 F.3d at 106 ("The strong public interest in encouraging
    witnesses to participate in future government investigations offsets the weak public
    interest in learning witness and third party identities.") (Exemptions 6 and 7(C));
    Strout v. United States Parole Comm'n, 40 F.3d 136, 139 (6th Cir. 1994) ("[T]here would
    appear to be a public policy interest against such disclosure, as the fear of
    disclosure to a convicted criminal could have a chilling effect on persons, particularly
    victims, who would otherwise provide the Commission with information relevant to
    a parole decision."); Miller v. Bell, 661 F.2d 623, 631 (7th Cir. 1981) (observing that the
    district court failed to consider "the substantial public interest in maintaining the
    integrity of future FBI undercover investigations") (Exemption 7(C)); Church of
    Scientology v. Dep't of State
    , 493 F. Supp. 418, 421 (D.D.C. 1980) (finding that Church
    of Scientology offered no public interest and that it had "practice of harassing its
    'suppressors'") (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)); Flower v. FBI, 448 F. Supp. 567, 571-72 (W.D.
    Tex. 1978) (noting that "it is doubtful" that individuals would cooperate with law
    enforcement if their privacy were not protected) (Exemption 7(C)); cf. Favish, 124 S.
    Ct. at 1579 (implying that nondisclosure result necessarily serves society's strong
    interest in denying "gruesome requests" made by "convicted felons" for photos of
    their victims); Kelly v. CIA, No. 00-2498, slip op. at 15 (D.D.C. Aug. 8, 2002) (observing
    that agency should factor in public interest at time that classification decision is
    made, and further noting that requester's asserted public interest in disclosure of
    requested information will not undermine proper classification because it certainly is
    in public interest to withhold information that would damage national security)
    (Exemption 1), modified in other respects, No. 00-2498, slip op. at 1 (D.D.C. Sept. 25,
    2002), appeal on adequacy of search dismissed on procedural grounds, No. 02-5384,
    2003 WL 21804101 (D.C. Cir. July 31, 2003).

    201. 656 F.2d at 865; see also FOIA Update, Vol. III, No. 4, at 5 (discussing the "sound
    basis" for agencies to look at the public interest in nondisclosure to "determine the
    'net' public interest involved").

    202. See Dep't of the Air Force v. Rose, 425 U.S. 352, 372 (1976).

    203. See Ripskis v. HUD, 746 F.2d 1, 3 (D.C. Cir. 1984); see FOIA Update, Vol. X, No. 2,
    at 7 ("FOIA Counselor: Exemption 6 and Exemption 7(C): Step-by-Step
    Decisionmaking").

    204. Ripskis, 746 F.2d at 3.

    205. See FOIA Update, Vol. X, No. 2, at 6 (emphasizing possible applicability of
    Privacy Act's disclosure prohibitions, particularly in light of Reporters Committee).

    206. See NARA v. Favish, 124 S. Ct. 1570, 1577 (2004) (relying, in finding threat to
    privacy, on expectation of renewed media exploitation if photographs were to be
    released) (Exemption 7(C)), reh'g denied, No. 02-409, 2004 WL 108633 (U.S. May 17,
    2004).

    207. See Pub. Citizen Health Research Group v. United States Dep't of Labor, 591
    F.2d 808, 809 (D.C. Cir. 1978) (finding that "[s]ince this is a balancing test, any invasion
    of privacy can prevail, so long as the public interest balanced against it is sufficiently
    weaker," and noting that the threat to privacy does not have to be "obvious").

    208. Wash. Post Co. v. HHS, 690 F.2d 252, 261 (D.C. Cir. 1982).

    209. See, e.g., Rural Hous. Alliance v. USDA, 498 F.2d 73, 77 (D.C. Cir. 1974).

    210. See, e.g., McDonnell v. United States, 4 F.3d 1227, 1254 (3d Cir. 1993) ("living
    individual has a strong privacy interest in withholding his medical records"); Rural
    Hous. Alliance
    , 498 F.2d at 77; Sousa v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 95-375, 1997
    U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9010, at *22 (D.D.C. June 18, 1997) (withholding co-defendant's
    medical records); Robbins v. HHS, No. 1:95-cv-3258, slip op. at 8-9 (N.D. Ga. Aug. 12,
    1996) (upholding nondisclosure of names, addresses, and claim denial letters of
    rejected social security disability claimants), aff'd per curiam, No. 96-9000 (11th Cir.
    July 8, 1997); Hunt v. United States Marine Corps, 935 F. Supp. 46, 54 (D.D.C. 1996)
    (observing that although public may have interest in a political candidate's fitness for
    office, disclosure of Oliver North's medical records would not shed light on conduct
    of Marine Corps).

    211. See, e.g., Judicial Watch, Inc. v. United States Dep't of Commerce, 83 F. Supp.
    2d 105, 112 (D.D.C. 1999), appeal dismissed voluntarily, No. 99-5054 (D.C. Cir. Sept. 10,
    1999); Centracchio v. FBI, No. 92-357, slip op. at 15 (D.D.C. Mar. 16, 1993).

    212. See, e.g., Church of Scientology v. United States Dep't of the Army, 611 F.2d 738,
    747 (9th Cir. 1979).

    213. See United States Dep't of State v. Wash. Post Co., 456 U.S. 595, 602 (1982)
    (passport information); Hemenway v. Hughes, 601 F. Supp. 1002, 1006 (D.D.C. 1985)
    ("Nationals from some countries face persistent discrimination . . . [and] are potential
    targets for terrorist attacks."); cf. Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Reno, No. 00-0723, 2001 WL
    1902811, at *8 (D.D.C. Mar. 30, 2001) (asylum application); Judicial Watch, 83 F. Supp.
    2d at 112 (visa and passport data).

    214. Quinault Indian Nation v. Gover, No. C97-5625, transcript at 52-57 (W.D. Wash.
    Oct. 19, 1998), aff'd sub nom. Quinault Indian Nation v. Deer, 232 F.3d 896 (9th Cir.
    2000) (unpublished table decision).

    215. See, e.g., Sherman v. United States Dep't of the Army, 244 F.3d 357, 365-66 (5th
    Cir. 2001); Norwood v. FAA, 993 F.2d 570, 575 (6th Cir. 1993); Dayton Newspapers, Inc.
    v. United States Dep't of the Navy
    , No. C-3-95-328, slip op. at 31-38 (S.D. Ohio Sept. 12,
    1996); Kuffel v. United States Bureau of Prisons, 882 F. Supp. 1116, 1122 (D.D.C. 1995)
    (Exemption 7(C)); Fid. Nat'l Title Ins. Co. v. HHS, No. 91-5484, slip op. at 6-7 (C.D. Cal.
    Feb. 13, 1992).

    216. See, e.g., United States Dep't of Justice v. Reporters Comm. for Freedom of the
    Press
    , 489 U.S. 749, 780 (1989); Judicial Watch, Inc. v. United States Dep't of Justice,
    No. 03-5093, 2004 WL 980826, at **16-17 (D.C. Cir. May 7, 2004) (protecting pardon
    applications, which include information about crimes committed).

    217. See Harbolt v. Dep't of State, 616 F.2d 772, 774 (5th Cir. 1980).

    218. See, e.g., Siminoski v. FBI, No. 83-6499, slip op. at 28 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 16, 1990).

    219. See, e.g., Beard v. Espy, No. 94-16748, 1995 WL 792071, at *1 (9th Cir. Dec. 11,
    1995); Hill v. USDA, 77 F. Supp. 2d 6, 8-9 (D.D.C. 1999), summary affirmance granted,
    No. 99-5365, 2000 WL 520724, at *1 (D.C. Cir. Mar. 7, 2000); Green v. United States, 8 F.
    Supp. 2d 983, 998 (W.D. Mich. 1998), appeal dismissed, No. 98-1568 (6th Cir. Aug. 11,
    1998); Stabasefski v. United States, 919 F. Supp. 1570, 1575 (M.D. Ga. 1996); Biase v.
    Office of Thrift Supervision
    , No. 93-2521, slip op. at 8-10 (D.N.J. Dec. 10, 1993); Okla.
    Publ'g Co. v. HUD
    , No. 87-1935-P, 1988 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18643, at **4-5 (W.D. Okla. June
    17, 1988).

    220. Ripskis, 746 F.2d at 3; see HHS v. FLRA, No. 92-1012, 1992 WL 390891, at *1 (D.C.
    Cir. Dec. 10, 1992) (performance appraisals); FLRA v. United States Dep't of
    Commerce
    , 962 F.2d 1055, 1059-61 (D.C. Cir. 1992) (same); Peralta v. United States
    Attorney's Office
    , 69 F. Supp. 2d 21, 33 (D.D.C. 1999) (letters of commendation for
    work on investigation of plaintiff). But see also Hardy v. DOD, No. CV-99-523, 2001
    WL 34354945, at *9 (D. Ariz. Aug. 27, 2001) (finding concern with jealousy on parts of
    co-workers diminished by fact that subject employee had since retired).

    221. FLRA v. United States Dep't of Commerce, 962 F.2d at 1059.

    222. See, e.g., Aronson v. HUD, 822 F.2d 182, 185-87 (1st Cir. 1987) (holding that public
    interest in "the disbursement of funds the government owes its citizens" outweighs
    the privacy interest of such citizens to be free from others' attempts "to secure a
    share of that sum" when the government's efforts at disbursal are inadequate); Van
    Bourg, Allen, Weinberg & Roger v. NLRB
    , 728 F.2d 1270, 1273 (9th Cir. 1984)
    (identifying strong public interest in determining whether election fairly conducted),
    vacated, 756 F.2d 692 (9th Cir.), reinstated, 762 F.2d 831 (9th Cir. 1985); Getman v.
    NLRB
    , 450 F.2d 670, 675-76 (D.C. Cir. 1971) (holding public interest in need for study of
    union elections sufficient to warrant release to professor); Nat'l Ass'n of Atomic
    Veterans, Inc. v. Dir., Def. Nuclear Agency
    , 583 F. Supp. 1483, 1487-88 (D.D.C. 1984)
    (ordering disclosure of names and addresses of veterans involved in atomic testing
    because of public interest in increasing their knowledge of benefits and possible
    future health testing).

    223. 489 U.S. at 771-72; see also Bibles v. Or. Natural Desert Ass'n, 519 U.S. 355, 355-56
    (1997) (summarily rejecting argument that there is public interest in knowing to
    whom government is sending information so that those persons can receive
    information from other sources).

    224. 489 U.S. at 772; see also FOIA Update, Vol. X, No. 2, at 5-6 (advising that old
    "use" test has been overruled and should no longer be followed).

    225. Nat'l Ass'n of Retired Fed. Employees v. Horner, 879 F.2d 873, 875 (D.C. Cir. 1989)
    [hereinafter NARFE]; see also Prof'l Programs Group v. Dep't of Commerce, 29 F.3d
    1349, 1353-55 (9th Cir. 1994) (withholding names and addresses of persons registered
    to take patent bar examination); Gannett Satellite Info. Network, Inc. v. United States
    Dep't of Educ.
    , No. 90-1392, 1990 WL 251480, at **6-7 (D.D.C. Dec. 21, 1990) (denying
    access to names, social security numbers, and addresses of individuals who have
    defaulted on government-backed student loans); Schoettle v. Kemp, 733 F. Supp.
    1395, 1397-98 (D. Haw. 1990) (relying upon both Reporters Committee's observation
    that "public interest" is not equivalent to "interesting or socially beneficial in some
    broad sense" and HUD's improved methods of tracing people, to withhold identities
    of mortgagors eligible for distributions of money); cf. Schiffer v. FBI, 78 F.3d 1405,
    1411 (9th Cir. 1996) (ruling that FOIA does not authorize limited access to only one
    individual based upon that individual's personal knowledge of information contained
    in records). But see Aronson v. HUD, No. 88-1524, slip op. at 1 (1st Cir. Apr. 6, 1989)
    (affirming award of attorney fees to plaintiff on basis that disclosure of list of
    mortgagors to whom HUD owes money sheds light on agency's performance of its
    duty to reimburse those mortgagors).

    226. See Favish, 124 S. Ct. at 1581 ("It must be remembered that once there is
    disclosure, the information belongs to the general public. There is no mechanism
    under FOIA for a protective order allowing only the requester to see . . . the
    information . . . or for proscribing its general dissemination."); see also FOIA Post,
    "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy' in Favish" (posted 4/9/04) (advising that
    "[i]n Favish, of course, this meant that the expected 'public exploitation' of the
    requested records through 'attempts to exploit pictures of the deceased family
    member's remains for public purposes' by the media . . . were properly taken into
    consideration").

    227. See NARFE, 879 F.2d at 875; see also Favish, 124 S. Ct. at 1580 (explaining that
    "[a]s a general rule, if the information is subject to disclosure, it belongs to all").

    228. 519 U.S. at 355-56; see also FOIA Update, Vol. XVIII, No. 1, at 1.

    229. 879 F.2d at 879; see also Robbins, No. 1:95-cv-3258, slip op. at 8-9 (N.D. Ga. Aug.
    12, 1996) (rejecting plaintiff's claim of intent to use the names and addresses of
    rejected social security disability claimants to represent them and "thereby 'promote
    the effective uniform administration of the disability program'" and ultimately reveal
    the agency's wrongful denials as "too attenuated" to outweigh a significant invasion
    of privacy (quoting plaintiff's papers)); Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Nat'l Highway Traffic
    Safety Admin.
    , 809 F. Supp. 148, 150 (D.D.C. 1993) (finding that requester's function as
    "significant consumer rights advocate" does not imply a right to "take over the
    functions of NHTSA").

    230. NARFE, 879 F.2d at 879; see also Retired Officers Ass'n v. Dep't of the Navy, 744
    F. Supp. 1, 2-3 (D.D.C. May 14, 1990) (holding names and home addresses of retired
    military officers exempt); cf. Reed v. NLRB, 927 F.2d 1249, 1251-52 (D.C. Cir. 1991)
    (categorically protecting "Excelsior" list (names and addresses of employees eligible
    to vote in union representation elections)).

    231. Bibles, 519 U.S. at 355-56 (mailing list of recipients of Bureau of Land
    Management publication); DOD v. FLRA, 510 U.S. 487, 494-502 (1994) (names and
    home addresses of federal employees in union bargaining units); United States Dep't
    of State v. Ray
    , 502 U.S. 164, 173-79 (1991) (withholding from interview summaries
    names and addresses of Haitian refugees interviewed by State Department about
    treatment upon return to Haiti).

    232. See Nat'l Ass'n of Home Builders v. Norton, 309 F.3d 26, 36 (D.C. Cir. 2002)
    (finding the privacy interest "relatively weak," and determining that the public
    interest in learning about an agency's use of owl data is served by release of the lot
    numbers of parcels of land where the owls have been spotted, even while
    acknowledging that the identities of landowners could be determined by use of this
    information), reconsideration denied, No. 01-5283 (D.C. Cir. Feb. 3, 2003) (per curiam);
    Avondale Indus. v. NLRB, 90 F.3d 955, 961 (5th Cir. 1996) (finding that names and
    addresses of voters in union election already were disclosed in voluminous public
    record); Baltimore Sun v. United States Marshals Serv., 131 F. Supp. 2d 725, 729 (D.
    Md. 2001) (declaring that purchasers of property previously seized by the
    government "voluntarily choose to participate in . . . a wholly legal commercial
    transaction" and "have little to fear in the way of 'harassment, annoyance, or
    embarrassment'") (Exemption 7(C)), appeal dismissed voluntarily, No. 01-1537 (4th
    Cir. June 25, 2001); Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Dep't of the Interior, 53 F. Supp. 2d
    32, 36-37 (D.D.C. 1999) (concluding that commenters to proposed rulemaking could
    have little expectation of privacy when rulemaking notice stated that complete file
    would be publicly available); Wash. Post Co. v. USDA, 943 F. Supp. 31, 34-36 (D.D.C.
    Oct. 18, 1996) (finding minimal privacy interest in home addresses at which farmers
    receiving subsidies under cotton price support program operate their businesses),
    appeal dismissed voluntarily, No. 96-5373 (D.C. Cir. May 19, 1997); Ackerson & Bishop
    Chartered v. USDA
    , No. 92-1068, slip op. at 1 (D.D.C. July 15, 1992) (finding no privacy
    interest in names of commercial mushroom growers operating under own names).

    233. See Baltimore Sun, 131 F. Supp. 2d at 729-30 (names and addresses of
    purchasers of property seized by government found to allow public to assess
    agencies' exercise of their power to seize property and their duty to dispose of such
    property) (Exemption 7(C)); Or. Natural Desert Ass'n v. United States Dep't of the
    Interior
    , 24 F. Supp. 2d 1088, 1093 (D. Or. 1998) (names of cattle owners who violated
    federal grazing laws found to reveal "how government is enforcing and punishing
    violations of land management laws"); Maples v. USDA, No. 97-5663, slip op. at 14
    (E.D. Cal. Jan. 13, 1998) (names and addresses of permit holders for use of federal
    lands "would provide the public with an understanding of how the permit process
    works"); Urbigkit v. United States Dep't of the Interior, No. 93-CV-0232-J, slip op. at 13
    (D. Wyo. May 31, 1994) (list of citizens who reported wolf sightings found to show
    agency activities "with respect to the duties imposed upon it by the Endangered
    Species Act"); Ray v. United States Dep't of Justice, 852 F. Supp. 1558, 1564-65 (S.D.
    Fla. 1994) (names and addresses of interdicted Haitians might reveal "information
    concerning our government's conduct during the interdiction process"); Thott v.
    United States Dep't of the Interior
    , No. 93-0177-B, slip op. at 5-6 (D. Me. Apr. 14, 1994)
    (list of individuals who sold land to Fish and Wildlife Service found to inform the
    public "about the methods used by FWS in acquiring property throughout the United
    States").

    234. Idaho v. United States Forest Serv., No. 97-0230-S, slip op. at 6 (D. Idaho Dec. 9,
    1997); see Judicial Watch v. United States Dep't of Justice, 102 F. Supp. 2d 6, 17-18
    (D.D.C. 2000) (allowing withholding of home addresses and telephone numbers of
    individuals who wrote to Attorney General about campaign finance or Independent
    Counsel issues, but concluding that in the event any individuals were elected
    officials their identities might possibly reveal information to the public "which could
    suggest that their Justice Department had been steered by political pressure rather
    than by relevant facts and law"), reconsideration denied temporarily pending in
    camera review
    , No. 97-CV-2869 (D.D.C. Aug. 17, 2000).

    235. Lepelletier v. FDIC, 164 F.3d 37, 48-49 (D.C. Cir. 1999).

    236. Id. at 48.

    237. Id.; see also Public Citizen, Inc. v. Dep't of Educ., No. 01-2351, slip op. at 5-12
    (D.D.C. June 17, 2002) (relying on Lepelletier and finding both "substantial benefits"
    to borrowers by disclosure and a public interest benefit in showing the extent of
    compliance with statutory duties). But see Reporters Comm., 489 U.S. at 772 n.20
    (noting that Congress made no statement that the FOIA was designed for broader
    uses to serve the "social good"); Schoettle, 733 F. Supp. at 1397-98 (relying on
    Reporters Committee's observation that "public interest" is not equivalent to
    "interesting or socially beneficial in some broad sense," in protecting identities of
    mortgagors eligible for distributions of money); cf. Doe v. FBI, 218 F.R.D. 256, 259 (D.
    Colo. 2003) (rejecting plaintiff's argument that even if his own privacy interest is not
    compelling the court should consider other parties' privacy interests, and concluding
    that "the Court will not allow Plaintiff to piggyback on their privacy interests" in order
    to achieve an unconventional nondisclosure result) (non-FOIA case).

    238. See 124 S. Ct. at 1582 (instructing that "counterweight" necessary to balance
    against privacy interest exists only when requester provides sufficient evidence); cf.
    FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy' in Favish" (posted 4/9/04)
    (explaining that Favish discredits "or effectively overrules" several prior decisions
    that ordered disclosure based on allegations of wrongdoing).

    239. See, e.g., Prof'l Programs, 29 F.3d at 1353-55 (withholding names and addresses
    of persons registered to take patent bar examination from business offering patent
    bar exam preparation courses to lawyers); Robbins, No. 1:95-cv-3258, slip op. at 8-9
    (N.D. Ga. Aug. 12, 1996) (withholding names and addresses of rejected social
    security disability claimants from attorney hoping to solicit business); Schoettle, 733
    F. Supp. at 1397-98 (declining to order release of identities of mortgagors eligible for
    distributions of money).

    240. See Reed, 927 F.2d at 1252 (protecting names and addresses of employees
    eligible to vote in union representation elections); Navigator Publ'g v. United States
    Dep't of Transp.
    , 146 F. Supp. 2d 68, 71 (D. Me. 2001) (concluding that "significant"
    privacy interest in mariners' addresses outweighs "hypothetical" public interest in
    matching addresses against criminal records to permit evaluation of Coast Guard
    performance of its licensing duties), appeal dismissed, No. 01-1939 (1st Cir. Sept. 19,
    2001); Judicial Watch v. Reno, 2001 WL 1902811, at *8 (discerning no public interest in
    disclosure of names and telephone numbers of nongovernment attendees at
    meeting with federal immigration officials); Fort Hall Landowners Alliance, Inc. v.
    Bureau of Indian Affairs
    , No. 99-00052, slip op. at 13 (D. Idaho Mar. 17, 2000)
    (protecting list of landowner names, addresses, and ownership interests on basis
    that there is no qualifying public interest in facilitating attorney representation of
    landowners in right-of-way negotiations); Dayton Newspapers, Inc. v. Dep't of the Air
    Force
    , 35 F. Supp. 2d 1033, 1035 (S.D. Ohio 1998) (redacting "claimants' names, social
    security numbers, home addresses, home/work telephone numbers and places of
    employment" from militarywide medical tort-claims database); Horsehead Indus. v.
    EPA
    , No. 94-1299, slip op. at 6 (D.D.C. Mar. 13, 1997) (finding that the possible
    "glimpse into EPA's activities" that would accrue from disclosure of identities of
    homeowners who volunteered to participate in a Superfund study "pales in
    comparison to the potential harm to the privacy" of study participants); Stabasefski,
    919 F. Supp. at 1575 (determining that disclosure of names of FAA employees who
    received Hurricane Andrew subsistence payments would shed no brighter light on
    agency activities than vouchers that were released showing amounts of payments);
    Upper Peninsula Envtl. Coalition v. Forest Serv., No. 2:94-cv-021, slip op. at 9-10 (W.D.
    Mich. Sept. 28, 1994) (concluding that information already provided about wilderness
    campers (i.e., dates, campsite, number in party, state of auto registration) sheds
    sufficient light on agency's performance of duties without disclosure of names and
    addresses of campers); Gannett Satellite, 1990 WL 251480, at **6-7 (concluding that
    names, social security numbers, and addresses of individuals who defaulted on
    government-backed student loans do not themselves directly reveal anything about
    student loan programs).

    241. See Ray, 502 U.S. at 176 (observing that disclosure of a list of Haitian refugees
    interviewed by the State Department about their treatment upon return to Haiti
    "would publicly identify the interviewees as people who cooperated with a State
    Department investigation"); Campaign for Family Farms v. Glickman, 200 F.3d 1180,
    1187-88 (8th Cir. 2000) (protecting list of pork producers who signed petition that
    declared their position on referendum that was sought by petition) (reverse FOIA
    suit); NARFE, 879 F.2d at 876 (characterizing the list at issue as revealing that each
    individual on it "is retired or disabled (or the survivor of such a person) and receives a
    monthly annuity check from the federal Government"); Minnis v. USDA, 737 F.2d 784,
    787 (9th Cir. 1984) ("Disclosure would reveal not only the applicants' names and
    addresses, but also their personal interests in water sports and the out-of-doors.").

    242. See, e.g., Schwarz v. Dep't of State, No. 97-1342, slip op. at 5 (D.D.C. Mar. 20,
    1998) (stating, despite plaintiff's claim that she needed the address of a third party
    to assist her, that the "merits of an agency's FOIA determinations do not rest on the
    identity of the requester or the purpose for which the information is intended to be
    used"), aff'd per curiam, 172 F.3d 921 (D.C. Cir. 1998) (unpublished table decision);
    Bongiorno v. Reno, No. 95-72143, 1996 WL 426451, at *14 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 19, 1996)
    (noting that the requester sought personal information concerning his adopted
    daughter "for his own purposes, as understandable as they may be, and not to shine
    a public light into the recesses of the federal bureaucracy"); Andrews v. United
    States Dep't of Justice
    , 769 F. Supp. 314, 316-17 (E.D. Mo. 1991) (declining to release
    individual's address, telephone number, and place of employment to requester
    seeking it for purpose of satisfying monetary judgment).

    243. See 5 C.F.R. § 293.311 (2004); see also FOIA Update, Vol. VII, No. 3, at 3.

    244. See FOIA Update, Vol. III, No. 4, at 3; see also Core v. USPS, 730 F.2d 946, 948
    (4th Cir. 1984) (qualifications of successful federal applicants); Samble v. United
    States Dep't of Commerce
    ,
    No. 1:92-225, slip op. at 11 (S.D. Ga. Sept. 22, 1994) (far-reaching
    decision requiring disclosure of successful job applicant's
    "undergraduate
    grades; private sector performance awards; foreign language abilities;
    and his
    answers to questions concerning prior firings, etc., convictions,
    delinquencies on
    federal debt, and pending charges against him"); Associated Gen. Contractors, Inc.
    v. EPA
    , 488 F. Supp. 861, 863 (D. Nev. 1980) (education, former employment, academic
    achievements, and employee qualifications).

    245. Army Reg. 340-21, ¶ 3-3a(1), b(1), 5 July 1985; see also Army Reg. 25-55, ¶ 3-200,
    No. 6(b), 1 Nov. 1997 (providing for withholding of names and duty addresses of
    military personnel assigned to units that are "sensitive, routinely deployable or
    stationed in foreign territories").

    246. See Department of Defense Freedom of Information Act Program Regulation,
    DOD 5400.7-R, 37-39 (Sept. 1998); Memorandum from Department of Defense
    Directorate for Freedom of Information and Security Review 1 (Oct. 26, 1999)
    (applying same analysis as DOD 5400.7-R to electronic mail addresses, and
    authorizing withholding only for "personnel assigned to units that are sensitive,
    routinely deployable or stationed in foreign territories").

    247. See 10 U.S.C. § 130b (2000); Department of Defense Freedom of Information Act
    Program Regulations, 32 C.F.R. § 286.12(f)(2)(ii) (2003) ("Names and duty addresses
    (postal and/or e-mail) . . . for personnel assigned to units that are sensitive, routinely
    deployable, or stationed in foreign territories are withholdable under [Exemption
    6].").

    248. See Jernigan v. Dep't of the Air Force, No. 97-35930, 1998 WL 658662, at *1 (9th
    Cir. Sept. 17, 1998) (agreeing with the Air Force that "'[i]dentifying [its] personnel
    overseas increases the threat of terrorism and the likelihood that they will be
    targeted for attack'"); Hudson v. Dep't of the Army, No. 86-1114, 1987 WL 46755, at
    **3-4 (D.D.C. Jan. 29, 1987) (finding threat of terrorism creates privacy interest in
    names, ranks, and addresses of Army personnel stationed in Europe, Middle East,
    and Africa), aff'd, 926 F.2d 1215 (D.C. Cir. 1991) (unpublished table decision); Falzone
    v. Dep't of the Navy
    , No. 85-3862, 1988 WL 128474, at **1-2 (D.D.C. Nov. 21, 1988)
    (finding same with respect to names and addresses of naval officers serving
    overseas or in classified, sensitive, or readily deployable positions).

    249. See Hopkins v. Dep't of the Navy, No. 84-1868, 1985 WL 17673, at *2 (D.D.C. Feb.
    5, 1985) (ordering disclosure of "names, ranks and official duty stations of servicemen
    stationed at Quantico" to life insurance salesman); Jafari v. Dep't of the Navy, 3 Gov't
    Disclosure Serv. (P-H) ¶ 83,250, at 84,014 (E.D. Va. May 11, 1983) (finding no privacy
    interest in "duty status" or attendance records of reserve military personnel) (Privacy
    Act "wrongful disclosure" suit), aff'd on other grounds, 728 F.2d 247 (4th Cir. 1984).

    250. See Department of Defense Director for Administration and Management
    Memorandum 1-2 (Nov. 9, 2001), available at
    www.defenselink.mil/pubs/foi/withhold.pdf.

    251. See Judicial Watch, Inc. v. United States, 84 Fed. Appx. 335, 338-39 (4th Cir.
    2004) (protecting names of lower-level clerical workers at IRS), petition for cert. filed,
    72 U.S.L.W. 3644 (U.S. Apr. 5, 2004) (No. 03-1389); New England Apple Council v.
    Donovan
    , 725 F.2d 139, 142-44 (1st Cir. 1984) (protecting identities of nonsupervisory
    Inspector General investigators who participated in grand jury investigation of
    requester) (Exemption 7(C)); Lesar v. United States Dep't of Justice, 636 F.2d 472, 487-88 (D.C. Cir. 1980) (protecting identities of FBI agents) (Exemption 7(C)); Wood v. FBI,
    No. 3:02cv2058, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5525, at *47 (D. Conn. Mar. 31, 2004) (ruling that
    records already released showed the thoroughness of the investigation, and
    reasoning that "there is no further public interest to be served by releasing the
    names of the officials involved in the investigation") (Exemption 7(C)); Pons v. United
    States Customs Serv.
    , No. 93-2094, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6084, at **13-14 (D.D.C. Apr.
    27, 1998) (protecting identities of lower- and mid-level agency employees who
    worked on asset forfeiture documents); Lampkin v. IRS, No. 1:96-138, 1997 WL 373717,
    at *2 (W.D.N.C. Feb. 24, 1997) (protecting identities of IRS employees who, by nature
    of employment, are subject to harassment and annoyance) (Exemption 7(C));
    Lawyers Comm. for Human Rights v. INS, 721 F. Supp. 552, 565, 569 (S.D.N.Y. 1989)
    (permitting withholding of the identities of FBI agents and support staff, who "have
    a particularly strong interest in maintaining their privacy in the present action due to
    the divided public opinion and heightened interest in [this] case") (Exemptions 6 and
    7(C)); see also FOIA Update, Vol. VII, No. 3, at 3-4.

    252. See, e.g., DOD v. FLRA, 510 U.S. 487, 500 (1994) (employees' home addresses);
    Am. Fed'n of Gov't Employees v. United States, 712 F.2d 931, 932-33 (4th Cir. 1983)
    (same); Barvick v. Cisneros, 941 F. Supp. 1015, 1020-21 (D. Kan. 1996) (personal
    information such as home addresses and telephone numbers, social security
    numbers, dates of birth, insurance and retirement information, reasons for leaving
    prior employment, and performance appraisals); Stabasefski, 919 F. Supp. at 1575
    (M.D. Ga. 1996) (names of FAA employees who received Hurricane Andrew
    assistance payments); Plain Dealer Publ'g Co. v. United States Dep't of Labor, 471 F.
    Supp. 1023, 1028-30 (D.D.C. 1979) (medical, personnel, and related documents of
    employees filing claims under Federal Employees Compensation Act); Info.
    Acquisition Corp. v. Dep't of Justice
    , 444 F. Supp. 458, 463-64 (D.D.C. 1978) ("core"
    personal information such as marital status and college grades). But see Wash. Post
    v. HHS
    , 690 F.2d at 258-65 (holding personal financial information required for
    appointment as HHS scientific consultant not exempt when balanced against need
    for oversight of awarding of government grants); Husek v. IRS, No. 90-CV-923, 1991
    U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20971, at *1 (N.D.N.Y. Aug. 16, 1991) (holding citizenship, date of
    birth, educational background, and veteran's preference of federal employees not
    exempt), aff'd, 956 F.2d 1161 (2d Cir. 1992) (unpublished table decision).

    253. See, e.g., Ripskis, 746 F.2d at 3-4 (names and identifying data contained on
    evaluation forms of HUD employees who received outstanding performance ratings);
    Warren v. Soc. Sec. Admin., No. 98-CV-0116E, 2000 WL 1209383, at *4 (W.D.N.Y. Aug.
    22, 2000) (award nomination forms for specific employees), aff'd, 10 Fed. Appx. 20 (2d
    Cir. 2001); Rothman v. USDA, No. 94-8151, slip op. at 6 (C.D. Cal. June 17, 1996)
    (settlement agreement related to charge of employment discrimination that "could
    conceivably lead to embarrassment or friction with fellow employees or
    supervisors"); Resendez v. Runyon, No. 94-434F, slip op. at 6-7 (W.D. Tex. Aug. 11,
    1995) (names of applicants for supervisory training who have not yet been accepted
    or rejected); McLeod v. United States Coast Guard, No. 94-1924, slip op. at 8-10
    (D.D.C. July 25, 1995) (Coast Guard officer's evaluation report), summary affirmance
    granted
    , No. 96-5071, 1997 WL 150096 (D.C. Cir. Feb. 10, 1997); Putnam v. United
    States Dep't of Justice
    , 873 F. Supp. 705, 712-13 (D.D.C. 1995) (names of FBI
    employees mentioned in "circumstances outside of their official duties," such as
    attending training classes and as job applicants); Ferri v. United States Dep't of
    Justice
    , 573 F. Supp. 852, 862-63 (W.D. Pa. 1983) (FBI background investigation of
    Assistant United States Attorney); Dubin v. Dep't of the Treasury, 555 F. Supp. 408,
    412 (N.D. Ga. 1981) (studies of supervisors' performance and recommendations for
    performance awards), aff'd, 697 F.2d 1093 (11th Cir. 1983) (unpublished table
    decision); see also FLRA v. United States Dep't of Commerce, 962 F.2d at 1060
    (distinguishing personnel "ratings," which traditionally have not been disclosed, from
    "performance awards," which ordinarily are disclosed); cf. Prof'l Review Org., Inc. v.
    HHS
    , 607 F. Supp. 423, 427 (D.D.C. 1985) (résumé data of proposed staff of
    government contract bidder).

    254. See Core, 730 F.2d at 948-49 (protecting identities and qualifications of
    unsuccessful applicants for federal employment); Warren, 2000 WL 1209383, at *4
    (protecting identities of unsuccessful job applicants); Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Exp.-Imp. Bank, 108 F. Supp. 2d 19, 38 (D.D.C. 2000) (withholding résumés of individuals
    whose applications for insurance were withdrawn or denied); Judicial Watch, Inc. v.
    Comm'n on United States-Pac. Trade & Inv. Policy
    , No. 97-0099, slip op. at 23-26
    (D.D.C. Sept. 30, 1999) (protecting identities of individuals considered for but not
    appointed to Commission); Rothman, No. 94-8151, slip op. at 8-9 (C.D. Cal. June 17,
    1996) ("Disclosure of information in the applications of persons who failed to get a job
    may 'embarrass or harm' them."); Barvick, 941 F. Supp. at 1021-22 (protecting all
    information about unsuccessful federal job applicants because any information
    about members of "select group" that applies for such jobs could identify them);
    Voinche v. FBI, 940 F. Supp. 323, 329-30 (D.D.C. 1996) (protecting identities of possible
    candidates for Supreme Court vacancies), aff'd per curiam, No. 96-5304, 1997 U.S.
    App. LEXIS 19089 (D.C. Cir. June 19, 1997); Putnam, 873 F. Supp. at 712-13 (protecting
    identities of FBI personnel who were job candidates); Holland v. CIA, No. 91-1233,
    1992 WL 233820, at **13-15 (D.D.C. Aug. 31, 1992) (protecting identity of person not
    selected as CIA general counsel).

    255. See Matthews v. USPS, No. 92-1208-CV-W-8, slip op. at 5 (W.D. Mo. Apr. 15,
    1994).

    256. See, e.g., Stern v. FBI, 737 F.2d 84, 94 (D.C. Cir. 1984) (protecting identities of
    mid-level employees censured for negligence, but requiring disclosure of identity of
    high-level employee found guilty of serious, intentional misconduct) (Exemption
    7(C)); Chamberlain v. Kurtz, 589 F.2d 827, 841-42 (5th Cir. 1979) (names of disciplined
    IRS agents); Mueller v. United States Dep't of the Air Force, 63 F. Supp. 2d 738, 743-45
    (E.D. Va. 1999) (unsubstantiated allegations of prosecutorial misconduct)
    (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)); Chin v. United States Dep't of the Air Force, No. 97-2176, slip
    op. at 3-5 (W.D. La. June 24, 1999) (investigations of fraternization), aff'd per curiam,
    No. 99-31237 (5th Cir. June 15, 2000); Lurie v. Dep't of the Army, 970 F. Supp. 19, 40
    (D.D.C. 1997) (identities of HIV researchers who played minor role in possible
    scientific misconduct), appeal dismissed voluntarily, No. 97-5248 (D.C. Cir. Oct. 22,
    1997); McLeod v. Peña, No. 94-1924, slip op. at 4-6 (D.D.C. Feb. 9, 1996) (investigation
    of Coast Guard officer for alleged use of government resources for personal religious
    activities) (Exemption 7(C)), summary affirmance granted sub nom. McLeod v. United
    States Coast Guard
    , No. 96-5071, 1997 WL 150096 (D.C. Cir. Feb. 10, 1997); Cotton v.
    Adams
    , 798 F. Supp. 22, 25-28 (D.D.C. 1992) (report of Inspector General's
    investigation of low-level employees of Smithsonian Institution museum shops);
    Schonberger v. Nat'l Transp. Safety Bd., 508 F. Supp. 941, 944-45 (D.D.C.) (results of
    complaint by employee against supervisor), aff'd, 672 F.2d 896 (D.C. Cir. 1981)
    (unpublished table decision); Iglesias v. CIA, 525 F. Supp. 547, 561 (D.D.C. 1981)
    (agency attorney's response to Office of Professional Responsibility misconduct
    allegations); see also McCutchen v. HHS, 30 F.3d 183, 187-89 (D.C. Cir. 1994) identities
    of both federally and privately employed scientists investigated for possible
    scientific misconduct protected) (Exemption 7(C)); cf. Heller v. United States
    Marshals Serv.
    , 655 F. Supp. 1088, 1091 (D.D.C. 1987) ("extremely strong interest" in
    protecting privacy of individual who cooperated with internal investigation of
    possible criminal activity by fellow employees). But see Gannett River States Publ'g
    Corp. v. Bureau of the Nat'l Guard
    , No. J91-455, 1992 WL 175235, at **5-6 (S.D. Miss.
    Mar. 2, 1992) (given previous disclosure of investigative report of helocasting
    accident, disclosure of actual discipline received would result in "insignificant
    burden" on soldiers' privacy interests).

    257. 906 F.2d 779, 782 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (upholding FBI's refusal to confirm or deny
    existence of letters of reprimand or suspension for alleged misconduct by
    undercover agent) (Exemption 7(C)); Favish, 124 S. Ct. at 1582 (noting realistically
    that "[a]llegations of government misconduct are 'easy to allege and hard to
    disprove'" (quoting Crawford-El v. Britton, 523 U.S. 574, 585 (1998)).

    258. Id. at 781; see also Ford v. West, No. 97-1342, 1998 WL 317561, at **2-3 (10th Cir.
    June 12, 1998) (protecting information about discipline of coworker and finding that
    redacted information would not inform public about agency's response to racial
    harassment claim); Kimberlin v. Dep't of Justice, 139 F.3d 944, 949 (D.C. Cir. 1998)
    (protecting information about investigation of staff-level attorney for allegations of
    unauthorized disclosure of information to media) (Exemption 7(C)); Beck v. Dep't of
    Justice
    , 997 F.2d 1489, 1494 (D.C. Cir. 1993) (upholding agency's refusal to either
    confirm or deny existence of records concerning alleged wrongdoing of named DEA
    agents) (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)); Hunt v. FBI, 972 F.2d 286, 288-90 (9th Cir. 1992)
    (protecting contents of investigative file of nonsupervisory FBI agent accused of
    unsubstantiated misconduct) (Exemption 7(C)); Early v. Office of Prof'l Responsibility,
    No. 95-0254, slip op. at 2-3 (D.D.C. Apr. 30, 1996) (upholding Office of Professional
    Responsibility's refusal to confirm or deny existence of complaints or investigations
    concerning performance of professional duties of one United States district court
    judge and two Assistant United States Attorneys) (Exemption 7(C)), summary
    affirmance granted
    , No. 96-5136, 1997 WL 195523 (D.C. Cir. Mar. 31, 1997).

    259. See, e.g., Wash. Post Co. v. United States Dep't of Justice, 863 F.2d 96, 100-01
    (D.C. Cir. 1988) (information relating to business judgments and decisions made
    during development of pharmaceutical) (Exemption 7(C)); Sims v. CIA, 642 F.2d 562,
    574 (D.C. Cir. 1980) (names of persons who conducted scientific and behavioral
    research under contracts with or funded by CIA); Bd. of Trade v. Commodity Futures
    Trading Comm'n
    , 627 F.2d 392, 399-400 (D.C. Cir. 1980) (identities of trade sources
    who supplied information to Commission); Cohen v. EPA, 575 F. Supp. 425, 430
    (D.D.C. 1983) (names of suspected EPA "Superfund" violators) (Exemption 7(C)); Stern
    v. SBA
    , 516 F. Supp. 145, 149 (D.D.C. 1980) (names of agency personnel accused of
    discriminatory practices); see also Judicial Watch, 108 F. Supp. 2d at 37-38 (résumés
    of executives of businesses approved for insurance by Export-Import Bank).

    260. Schell v. HHS, 843 F.2d 933, 939 (6th Cir. 1988); see also Kurzon v. HHS, No. 00-395, 2001 WL 821531, at **7-11 (D.N.H. July 17, 2001) (ordering disclosure of names
    and business addresses of unsuccessful National Institute of Mental Health grant
    applicants, relying in part upon privacy analysis in Kurzon v. HHS, 649 F.2d 65, 69 (1st
    Cir. 1981), which court found "instructive" despite fact that First Circuit's "similar files"
    holding is no longer good law post-Washington Post, 456 U.S. 595), appeal dismissed
    voluntarily
    , No. 01-2319 (1st Cir. Oct. 5, 2001); Physicians Comm. for Responsible Med.
    v. Glickman
    , 117 F. Supp. 2d 1, 5-6 (D.D.C. 2000) (finding that "asserted stigma of
    rejection is significantly diluted when shared among approximately 140"
    nonappointed applicants for membership in federal advisory committee); Lawyers
    Comm. for Human Rights
    , 721 F. Supp. at 569 (finding that "disclosure [of names of
    State Department's officers and staff members involved in highly publicized case]
    merely establishes State [Department] employees' professional relationships or
    associates these employees with agency business" because agency provided "no
    substantial evidence of . . . security or privacy interests"; however, protecting the
    names of FBI Special Agents and support staff from other documents because of
    "strong" privacy interests) (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)).

    261. Beck, 997 F.2d at 1492 (finding that when no evidence of wrongdoing exists,
    there is "no public interest to be balanced against the two [DEA] agents' obvious
    interest in the continued confidentiality of their personnel records"); Dunkelberger,
    906 F.2d at 781-82 (recognizing that FBI Special Agent has privacy interest in
    protecting his employment records against public disclosure); Carter v. United
    States Dep't of Commerce
    , 830 F.2d 388, 391-92 (D.C. Cir. 1987) (withholding identities
    of private-sector attorneys subject to Patent and Trademark Office disciplinary
    investigations); Stern, 737 F.2d at 91 (recognizing that federal employees have
    privacy interest in information about their employment); Ripskis, 746 F.2d at 3-4
    (identifying "substantial privacy interests" in performance appraisals of federal
    employees); see also Hill, 77 F. Supp. 2d at 7-8 (shielding business information
    related to Farmers Home Administration loans to individuals); Prof'l Review Org., 607
    F. Supp. at 427 (finding protectible privacy interests in résumés of professional staff
    of successful government contract applicant sought by unsuccessful bidder);
    Hemenway, 601 F. Supp. at 1006 (protecting citizenship information on journalists
    accredited to attend press briefings).

    262. McCutchen, 30 F.3d at 187-88 (quoting Wash. Post, 863 F.2d at 100). But see
    Campaign for Family Farms, 200 F.3d at 1187-89 (finding privacy interest in pork
    producers' signatures on petition that declared signers' intended voting positions on
    controversial pork-production issue).

    263. See, e.g., McCutchen, 30 F.3d at 187-88; Fund for Constitutional Gov't v. Nat'l
    Archives & Records Serv.
    , 656 F.2d 856, 865-66 (D.C. Cir. 1981) (protecting identities of
    government officials investigated but not prosecuted in "Watergate" investigation)
    (Exemption 7(C)); cf. FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules for 'Survivor Privacy' in Favish"
    (posted 4/9/04) (discussing "public figure" status and its realistic effect on privacy
    considerations).

    264. See 489 U.S. at 774 (ruling that information concerning a defense contractor, if
    such exists, would reveal nothing directly about the behavior of the congressman
    with whom he allegedly dealt or about the conduct of the Department of Defense in
    awarding contracts to his company); accord Halloran v. VA, 874 F.2d 315, 324 (5th Cir.
    1989) (finding that public interest in learning about VA's relationship with its
    contractor is served by release of documents with redactions of identities of
    company employees suspected of fraud). But cf. Or. Natural Desert Ass'n, 24 F.
    Supp. 2d at 1093 (holding that privacy interests of cattle owners who violated federal
    grazing laws are outweighed by public interest in knowing how government
    enforces land-management laws); Commodity News Serv. v. Farm Credit Admin.,
    No. 88-3146, 1989 WL 910244, at *2 (declining to protect personal résumé of
    appointed receiver of failed bank under Exemption 6).

    265. See 5 U.S.C. § 552(b) (2000) (sentence immediately following exemptions); see,
    e.g.
    , Kimberlin, 139 F.3d at 949-50 (declining to affirm withholding of the entire file
    pertaining to an Office of Professional Responsibility investigation of an Assistant
    United States Attorney without "more specification of the types of material in the
    file" and specific findings on segregability by the district court); Patterson v. IRS, 56
    F.3d 832, 838-40 (7th Cir. 1995) (refusing to permit agency to withhold entire
    document under Exemption 6 if only "portions" are exempt); Hronek v. DEA, 16 F.
    Supp. 2d 1260, 1270, 1278 (D. Or. 1998) ("Blanket explanations . . . do not meet FOIA's
    [segregability] requirements and do not permit the court to make the necessary
    findings . . . . The government fails to indicate why the privacy interests at stake
    could not be protected simply by redacting particular identifying information."); see
    also
    Trans-Pac. Policing Agreement v. United States Customs Serv., 177 F.3d 1022,
    1026-29 (D.C. Cir. 1999) (imposing upon district courts "an affirmative duty to consider
    the segregability issue sua sponte" even if not raised by the requester) (Exemption
    4); Krikorian v. Dep't of State, 984 F.2d 461, 466-67 (D.C. Cir. 1993) ("'The "segregability"
    requirement applies to all documents and all exemptions in the FOIA.'" (quoting Ctr.
    for Auto Safety v. EPA
    , 731 F.2d 16, 21 (D.C. Cir. 1984))) (Exemptions 1, 3, and 5);
    Judicial Watch, 83 F. Supp. 2d at 109 ("[D]istrict courts are required to consider
    segregability issues even when the parties have not specifically raised such
    claims."); FOIA Update, Vol. XIV, No. 3, at 11-12 ("OIP Guidance: The 'Reasonable
    Segregation' Obligation").

    266. 425 U.S. at 380-81; see also FOIA Update, Vol. VII, No. 1, at 6; cf. Ripskis, 746 F.2d
    at 4 (agency voluntarily released outstanding performance rating forms with
    identifying information deleted); Aldridge v. United States Comm'r of Internal
    Revenue
    , No. 7:00-CV-131, 2001 WL 196965, at *3 (N.D. Tex. Feb. 23, 2001)
    (determining that privacy interests of employees recommended for discipline could
    be protected by redacting their names); Hecht v. United States Agency for Int'l Dev.,
    No. 95-263, 1996 WL 33502232, at *12 (D. Del. Dec. 18, 1996) (finding that privacy
    interests of government contractor's employees could be protected by withholding
    their names and addresses from biographical data sheets); cf. Church of Scientology
    v. IRS
    , 816 F. Supp. 1138, 1160 (W.D. Tex. 1993) (ordering agency to protect
    employees' privacy interests in their handwriting by typing handwritten records at
    requester's expense).

    267. See L&C Marine Transp., Ltd. v. United States, 740 F.2d 919, 923 (11th Cir. 1984)
    (Exemption 7(C)); cf. Ray, 502 U.S. at 175-76 (concluding that de minimis privacy
    invasion from release of personal information about unidentified person becomes
    significant when information is linked to particular individual). But see also Cooper
    Cameron Corp. v. United States Dep't of Labor
    , 280 F.3d 539, 553-54 (5th Cir. 2002)
    (ordering disclosure of information that could link witnesses to their OSHA
    investigation statements, because agency presented no evidence of "possibility of
    employer retaliation") (Exemption 7(C)).

    268. See Arieff v. United States Dep't of the Navy, 712 F.2d 1462, 1468-69 (D.C. Cir.
    1983); cf. Dayton Newspapers, 35 F. Supp. 2d at 1035 (ordering release of
    militarywide medical tort-claims database with "claimants' names, social security
    numbers, home addresses, home/work telephone numbers and places of
    employment" redacted), reh'g denied in pertinent part, No. C-97-78, slip op. at 13-14
    (S.D. Ohio Mar. 26, 1999); Chi. Tribune Co. v. HHS, No. 95 C 3917, 1997 WL 1137641, at
    **18-19 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 26, 1997) (magistrate's recommendation) (ordering release of
    breast cancer patient data forms that identify patients only by nine-digit encoded
    "Study Numbers"), adopted (N.D. Ill. Mar. 28, 1997); Minntech Corp. v. HHS, No. 92-2720, slip op. at 5 (D.D.C. Nov. 17, 1993) (ordering release of FDA studies concerning
    mortality rates and use of kidney dialyzers with names, addresses, places of birth,
    and last four digits of social security numbers deleted); Frets v. Dep't of Transp., No.
    88-404-W-9, 1989 WL 222608, at *5 (W.D. Mo. Dec. 14, 1989) (ordering disclosure of
    urinalysis reports of air traffic controllers with identities deleted); Citizens for Envtl.
    Quality v. USDA
    , 602 F. Supp. 534, 538-39 (D.D.C. 1984) (ordering disclosure of health
    test results because identity of single agency employee tested could not, after
    deletion of his name, be ascertained from any information known outside
    appropriate part of agency (citing Rose, 425 U.S. at 380 n.19 (dicta))).

    269. See Chamberlain, 589 F.2d at 841-42; cf. Senate of P.R. v. Dep't of Justice, No. 84-1829, 1993 WL 364696, at **10-11 (D.D.C. Aug. 24, 1993) (ordering release of
    information concerning cooperating inmate after redaction of identifying details).

    270. 425 U.S. at 381.

    271. 993 F.2d 570, 575 (6th Cir. 1993), modified, No. 92-5820 (6th Cir. July 9, 1993), reh'g
    denied
    (6th Cir. Aug. 12, 1993); see also Dayton Newspapers, Inc. v. VA, 257 F. Supp.
    2d 988, 1006 (S.D. Ohio 2003) (ordering release of birthdates of individuals in claims
    database on basis that birthdates alone cannot be used to identify individuals).

    272. Norwood v. FAA, No. 92-5820, slip op. at 1 (6th Cir. July 9, 1993).

    273. Manos v. United States Dep't of the Air Force, No. C-92-3986, slip op. at 2-5 (N.D.
    Cal. Mar. 24, 1993), reconsideration denied (N.D. Cal. Apr. 9, 1993).

    274. Id. at 3; cf. Heat & Frost Insulators & Asbestos Workers, Local 16 v. United
    States Dep't of the Air Force
    , No. S92-2177, slip op. at 2-4 (E.D. Cal. Oct. 4, 1993)
    (ordering release of certified payroll records -- with names, addresses, social
    security numbers, race, and gender deleted -- even though number of characteristics
    revealed and small number of workers would make it likely that knowledgeable
    person could identify workers).

    275. Dayton Newspapers, Inc. v. Dep't of the Air Force, 107 F. Supp. 2d 912, 919 (S.D.
    Ohio 1999).

    276. Id.

    277. Dayton Newspapers, Inc., 257 F. Supp. 2d at 1001-05 & n.19 (rejecting
    government's argument that names could be used as search terms in online
    databases in order to learn identities of claimants).

    278. Reporters Comm., 489 U.S. at 765, 770-71 (recognizing threats to privacy from
    data stored in computerized databases).

    279. Carter, 830 F.2d at 391; see also, e.g., Marzen v. HHS, 825 F.2d 1148, 1152 (7th
    Cir. 1987) (concluding that redaction of "identifying characteristics" would not protect
    the privacy of a deceased infant's family because others could ascertain the identity
    and "would learn the intimate details connected with the family's ordeal"); Campaign
    for Family Farms v. Veneman
    , No. 99-1165, 2001 WL 1631459, at *3 (D. Minn. July 19,
    2001) (finding that disclosure of zip codes and dates of signatures could identify
    signers of petition); Ligorner v. Reno, 2 F. Supp. 2d 400, 405 (S.D.N.Y. 1998) (finding
    that redaction of a complaint letter to the Office of Professional Responsibility would
    be inadequate to protect the identities of the individual accused of misconduct and
    of the accuser, because "public could deduce the identities of the individuals whose
    names appear in the document from its context").

    280. See, e.g., Alirez v. NLRB, 676 F.2d 423, 428 (10th Cir. 1982) (finding that mere
    deletion of names and other identifying data concerning small group of co-workers
    inadequate to protect them from embarrassment or reprisals because requester
    could still possibly identify individuals) (Exemption 7(C)); Rothman, No. 94-8151, slip
    op. at 8-9 (C.D. Cal. June 17, 1996) (protecting information in employment
    applications that pertains to knowledge, skills, and abilities of unsuccessful
    applicants, because the "field of candidates for this particular position (canine
    officer) is specialized and is limited to about forty persons who work in same agency
    and may know each other personally"); McLeod, No. 94-1924, slip op. at 6 (D.D.C. Feb.
    9, 1996) (concluding that redaction of investigative memoranda and witness
    statements would not protect privacy when "community of possible witnesses and
    investigators is very small" -- eight officers and twenty enlisted personnel)
    (Exemption 7(C)); Barvick, 941 F. Supp. at 1021-22 (protecting all information about
    unsuccessful federal job applicants because any information about members of
    "select group" that applies for such job could identify them); Harry v. Dep't of the
    Army
    , No. 92-1654, slip op. at 9 (D.D.C. Sept. 13, 1993) (concluding that redaction of
    ROTC personnel records was impossible because "intimate character" of ROTC
    corps at requester's university would make records recognizable to him); Frets, 1989
    WL 222608, at *4 (determining that disclosure of handwritten statements would
    identify those who came forward with information concerning drug use by air traffic
    controllers even if names were redacted).

    281. Rashid v. United States Dep't of Justice, No. 99-2461, slip op. at 15-16 (D.D.C.
    June 12, 2001); see Whitehouse v. United States Dep't of Labor, 997 F. Supp. 172, 175
    (D. Mass. 1998) (discerning "no practical way" to sanitize "personal and unique"
    medical evaluation reports to prevent identification by knowledgeable reader); Ortiz
    v. HHS
    , 874 F. Supp. 570, 573-75 (S.D.N.Y.) (finding that factors such as type style,
    grammar, syntax, language usage, writing style, and mention of facts "that would
    reasonably be known only by a few persons" could lead to identification of the
    author if an anonymous letter were released) (Exemptions 7(C) and 7(D)), aff'd on
    Exemption 7(D) grounds
    , 70 F.3d 729 (2d Cir. 1995); cf. Schulte v. VA, No. 86-6251, slip
    op. at 11 (S.D. Fla. Feb. 2, 1996) (finding that disclosure of mortality data for cardiac
    surgery programs compiled by VA as part of medical quality assurance program
    would be identified with head cardiac surgeon at any VA facility with only one
    attending head surgeon) (Exemption 3 (38 U.S.C. § 5705 (2000))).

    282. Cappabianca v. Comm'r, United States Customs Serv., 847 F. Supp. 1558, 1565
    (M.D. Fla. 1994).

    283. See, e.g., Hunt, 972 F.2d at 288 (holding that "public availability" of an accused
    FBI agent's name does not defeat privacy protection and "would make redactions of
    [the agent's name in] the file a pointless exercise"); Claudio v. Soc. Sec. Admin., No.
    H-98-1911, slip op. at 14 (S.D. Tex. May 24, 2000) (observing that redaction of
    documents concerning named subject "would prove meaningless"); Mueller, 63 F.
    Supp. 2d at 744 (noting that when requested documents relate to a specific
    individual, "deleting [her] name from the disclosed documents, when it is known that
    she was the subject of the investigation, would be pointless"); Chin, No. 97-2176, slip
    op. at 5 (W.D. La. June 24, 1999) (observing that deletion of identifying information
    "fails to protect the identity of [the individual] who is named in the FOIA request");
    Cotton, 798 F. Supp. at 27 (determining that releasing any portion of the documents
    would "abrogate the privacy interests" when the request is for documents pertaining
    to two named individuals); Schonberger, 508 F. Supp. at 945 (stating that no
    segregation was possible when request was for one employee's file).

    284. See, e.g., Reporters Comm., 489 U.S. at 757, 780; Dunkelberger, 906 F.2d at 782;
    Antonelli v. FBI, 721 F.2d 615, 617-19 (7th Cir. 1983); see also FOIA Update, Vol. VII,
    No. 1, at 3.

    285. See FOIA Update, Vol. VII, No. 2, at 2 (discussing "Glomarization" in context of
    non-law enforcement records).

    286. See, e.g., United States Dep't of State v. Wash. Post Co., 456 U.S. 595, 596 (1982)
    (describing agency's denial of request for any documentation of any United States
    citizenship status of two Iranian nationals, which amounted to "Glomarization").

    287. See, e.g., Beck, 997 F.2d at 1493 (refusing to confirm or deny existence of
    disciplinary records pertaining to named DEA agents) (Exemptions 6 and 7(C));
    Dunkelberger, 906 F.2d at 782 (refusing to confirm or deny existence of letter of
    reprimand or suspension of FBI agent) (Exemption 7(C)); Jefferson v. United States
    Dep't of Justice, Office of Inspector General
    , No. 01-1418, slip op. at 11-13 (D.D.C. Nov.
    14, 2003) (deciding that although OIG had released documents about officially
    confirmed investigation into employee, agency correctly refused to confirm or deny
    existence of any other OIG record about employee) (Exemption 7(C)); Claudio, No. H-98-1911, slip op. at 14 (S.D. Tex. May 23, 2000) (affirming agency's refusal to confirm or
    deny existence of any record reflecting any investigation of administrative law
    judge); Early, No. 95-0254, slip op. at 2-3 (D.D.C. Apr. 30, 1996) (upholding Office of
    Professional Responsibility's refusal to confirm or deny existence of complaints or
    investigations concerning performance of professional duties of one United States
    district court judge and two Assistant United States Attorneys) (Exemption 7(C));
    Cotton, 798 F. Supp. at 26 n.8 (suggesting that "the better course would have been
    for the Government to refuse to confirm or deny the existence of responsive
    materials"); Ray v. United States Dep't of Justice, 778 F. Supp. 1212, 1213-15 (S.D. Fla.
    1991) (upholding agency's refusal to confirm or deny existence of investigative
    records concerning federal immigration officer) (Exemptions 6 and 7(C)). But see
    Jefferson v. Dep't of Justice, 284 F.3d 172, 174 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (declining to uphold
    OPR's use of the "Glomar response as to all of its files in the absence of an
    evidentiary showing" that it maintained no "non-law enforcement files regarding" the
    subject of the request); Kimberlin, 139 F.3d at 946-47 (regarding "Glomar" response
    as certainly inapplicable once subject publicly acknowledges investigation).

    288. See FOIA Update, Vol. VII, No. 2, at 2; see also Ray v. United States Dep't of
    Justice
    , 558 F. Supp. 226, 228 (D.D.C. 1982) (dicta) (upholding agency's refusal to
    confirm or deny existence of records pertaining to plaintiff's former attorney), aff'd,
    720 F.2d 216 (D.C. Cir. 1983) (unpublished table decision).

    289. See FOIA Update, Vol. VII, No. 1, at 3 (explaining that "only through the
    consistent application of this masked response to third-party requests . . . can the
    privacy of those who are in fact mentioned in [particularly sensitive agency] files be
    protected").

    290. See id.

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